July 25, 2006

Brother released, Sister gets her life back

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 2:28 pm

On Sunday Hao’s sister Nina posted on her blog about resuming a somewhat more normal life now that Hao has been released:

Our family finally managed to get together, but in a few days we scattered again to the ends of the earth. My younger brother will be in Beijing, my husband in Shanghai, my parents returning to Chengdu and I will begin my new job in a new city. My family has never been separated in this way. When I think about the uncertain future, my heart felt grayish.

When I woke up in the morning, it was drizzling outside and the skies were
as gray as my mood. The Shanghai weather is rarely so crisp. My daughter wore the new skirt that her uncle bought and she flew around the departure hall in the airport and drew a small and beautiful picture in the dim crowd.

The airplane had an abundant supply of newspapers, magazines, television
programs, food and drinks. The meal even included a serving of Haagen-Dazs ice cream. This small present brightened me up eventually. The gentle smile of the stewardess was as beautiful as the rainbow after the rain.

When I got off the airplane, the language that entered my ears were completely different from what I was hearing three hours ago. Although the street lights were as brilliant as Shanghai’s, the different clothes and expressions of the people reminded me that I am in a new world. I stood in the bustling streets like Alice exploring the world in a fairy tale. My heart was filled with perlexity about the uncertain future and yearning for the new life. When I thought about being able to do what I like once more, that I will make new friends and that I can enjoy the fun of exploration, I could not wait to think about starting my new life.

Nina, you truly deserve to enjoy life now. All brothers should be so lucky to have a sister like you.

July 13, 2006

Message of thanks & request from Nina

Filed under: News, Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 7:21 am

Hao is now resting at home in Beijing. While there are many unanswered questions about the cirumstances of his release, his family is asking the media and other well-wishers to keep their distance in these early days after his release. Today Nina wrote this post titled “Birthday Wish and Thanks:”

July 10th is my birthday, but I wasn’t with family. New friends took me out for a birthday lunch, and in the afternoon we sang “happy birthday” and had cake. Amid the clamor and noise I quietly made a wish about something else. Old friends and family kept calling and sending text messages to wish me happy birthday, and my husband agreed to support a Tibetan school child as my birthday present. But I still greedily regretted that my main birthday wish was not granted that day.

The next afternoon, I received a phone call from the family that Haozi had come out. My greatest wish had been fulfiled, but it was hard to completely believe. I could only pretend to be calm as I tried to take care of things.

Later, when I saw the message from little brother saying “happy belated birthday,” I cried tears of happiness. During this fairly long period of time I have learned how to persevere and hold back my tears. But now in the tumble of emotion I couldn’t prevent the tears from flowing out. Little brother has really returned into our lives! I just want to tell every family on this earth going through similar experinces: all the waiting is worth it.

I have received a lot of requests to pass on well wishes to Haozi. Once again I’d like to thank everybody on his behalf for all the support for us over the past five months. Friends, I hope that in the future there will be a chance to thank all of you in person.

Finally, I’d like to thank some news media and organizations for their profesionalism and understanding. But as for the conduct of others I have nothing to say. We still have a lot of things we have to do. If you can please give us some space and some time, we would be very grateful.

Thank you.

July 11, 2006

China: Wu Hao released

Filed under: About Hao Wu, News, Nina's blog — Feng @ 1:05 pm

Following nearly five months in prison, blogger, documentary maker and American permanent resident Wu Hao has been released, as noted in a July 11 post on his sister Nina’s blog:

刚刚得到家里电话, 被告知皓子出来了.谢谢大家的关心,但他需要清静一阵子.

Just got a call at home and informed that Wu Hao is out. Thank you everyone for your concern, but he needs some silence for now. If there is any new information it will be posted on this blog.

Set up soon after her little brother’s arrest by Chinese authorities, Nina’s blog has served as the centerpoint in the campaign to have Hao released. English translations of each of her posts recounted the hostility Nina received in repeated unsuccesful attempts to gain any information on her brother’s whereabouts. Frustrated and fearing how the news would affect her parents’ health, in late May she wrote that her brother had been denied access to a lawyer.

Support was strong across the blogsphere, with hundreds of fellow bloggers posting on Nina and Hao’s story, as well as putting up Free Hao Wu tags. Support was there from some mainstream media, with the Wall Street Journal chipping in just a week ago, and a piece written in The Washington Post by Global Voices co-founder Rebecca MacKinnon coinciding with Chinese president Hu Jintao’s visit to America:

“Hao turned 34 this week. He personifies a generation of urban Chinese who have flourished thanks to the Communist Party’s embrace of market-style capitalism and greater cultural openness. He got his MBA from the University of Michigan and worked for EarthLink before returning to China to pursue his dream of becoming a documentary filmmaker. He and his sister, Nina Wu, who works in finance and lives a comfortable middle-class life in Shanghai, have enjoyed freedoms of expression, travel, lifestyle and career choice that their parents could never have dreamed of. They are proof of how U.S. economic engagement with China has been overwhelmingly good for many Chinese.”

Several members of the U.S. Congress wrote letters of concern on Hao’s behalf. We are also grateful for some diplomacy - both quiet and open - conducted elsewhere. Late last week free speech group Reporters Without Borders announced a successful lobbying attempt aimed at the European Parliament, which ratified a resolution on freedom of expression on the internet. Included in the resolution is a list of nine imprisoned bloggers and cyberdissidents, including Hao.

June 10, 2006

Day 110: Nina Returns to Beijing

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 4:16 pm

On June 10th Hao’s sister Nina wrote a post, “Returning to Beijing Again:”

Back to Beijing again. I missed my brother when staring at his books and things. Hard to believe that their owner has been gone for so long. Looking at the note folded in the book on which my brother wrote down the address of a restaurant, I can’t help crying out. I saw his clean and fresh handwriting, and imagined his state of mind when writing down these notes. He is always my brother. A person with such simplicity and passion for life does not deserve such winding complications. No matter what others might say about him, our firm belief and trust in him will not change.

I went to cinema for the first time in a long time. The movie “Poseidon” is still a typical Hollywood blockbuster about catastrophe. After September 11, America needs heroism to promote hope and boost confidence among its people. Although I know the plot is artificial, written by a screenplay writer, my heart still rose and fell with the story. In the last scene, when all the six men are in a canoe, waiting for helicopter to pick them up, a happy ending proves to be worth all their efforts. There is a line taken from the movie: “Life is transient; life and death are uncertain.” I may adapt the line into “Life is transient; Happiness and misfortune are uncertain.” The character of Josh Lucas , a retired navy officer and veteran gambler, led the last remaining hopeful survivors from death to life. I believe that time will bring out the truth of everything, and reward our faithful waiting. Eventually one day the hope that we hold in our hearts will blossom and flourish.

May 31, 2006

Day 99: Nina comes out of hospital, resumes blogging

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 5:23 pm

On May 31st, after 14 days of silence and a stint in the hospital due to ill health and exhaustion, Hao’s sister Nina Wu wrote an entry on her blog titled “Dragon Boat Festival:”

With respect to the many caring inquiries from friends, I know that further silence will create more speculations and worries. So I am sitting in front of the computer to type up these words. I thank everybody for their concerns.

Due to reasons such as turning over my work responsibilities and also ill health, I have left Beijing for Shanghai. I have visited the doctor, entered the hospital and stayed a few days. I am still physically weak, so I did not go back to my blog.

Please believe me that in spite of all the various hardships in my life, I am not shaken in my resolution to strive for the freedom of Hao. I and my family believe that we will go past the threshold of 2006.

Today is the Dragon Boat Festival. Those who know and those who don’t know the news have sent in festive SMS. Following tradition, my parents bought the wrapped rice dumplings and artemsia plants. In his blog, my younger brother described the scene of wrapping rice dumplings in his youth at home during the Chinese New Year. Food preparation is one of the happiest moments in family life each year.

Actually, apart from that, there is another major family event as our parents will solemnly wrap the rice dumplings for the Dragon Boat Festival. The Spring Festival and the Dragon Boat Festival are the most fresh memories inside my head.

Today, my parents are aged and no longer have the energy to prepare everything. But they still follow the tradition and tell us to buy or personally prepare the various items. For this Dragon Boat Festival, we miss my younger brother’s contribution. I am silent. I am afraid that I will open up my mother’s wound and cause her to cry in pain just like last weekend. Sigh! The children will always be the gentle tear at the parents’ hearts.

Did my younger brother eat rice dumplings today? Did he share our common memories? It is such a plain but tremendous happiness to have one’s family around! I hope that this happiness will never leave us.

May 17, 2006

Day 85: Hao is denied access to lawyer

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 9:23 pm

On May 17 Hao’s sister Nina Wu wrote on her blog that she has received a response to her repeated appeals that Hao be granted access to a lawyer, but the news is not good:

This afternoon, I suddenly received a call from Officer Zhang, who I met last time, asking me to go to the city bureau Office of Petitions for a meeting and a response to our request to retain an attorney. It was in the same small room as last time, with the same two officers. Officer Zhang gave me the “Beijing Public Security Bureau Secrets-Related Case Attorney Request Decision Letter, Beijing PSB Inquest (2006) #1” At the top it said, “…according to the Clause 1 of Article 96 of the “Code of Criminal Procedure of the People’s Republic of China”, after review, it is decided to deny the request to retain an attorney.” Even though this response was not unexpected, I was completely at a loss. After working hard for a time, it appears that all efforts to seek legal help have reached a dead end.

Haozi has now moved from detention to living under surveillance. Due to legal regulations, living under surveillance is limited to six months. The police have promised to make a statement to the family before August. What kind of statement will it be? Finally finding a crime and beginning the administration of justice? The family can only wait passively. Can the law help groups that are so weak before the “People’s Institutions”?

Locking someone up for so long, without any explanation, and not allowing lawyers to take part. I am furious about this current plight of powerlessness. Lately, many friends have also expressed their concern. Surely, everyone is busy working for Haozi, but it is scattered across many places. Even I don’t have a “big map.” How can everyone know about each other and get organized? We can certainly find a way.

May 15, 2006

Day 83: Bureaucratic red tape - nightmare continues

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 2:23 pm

On May 15, Hao’s sister Nina Wu wrote a blog post titled Another Step in the Long, Long March:

Today, in keeping with the agreement between our lawyers and the police, I went to the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau Office of Inquiry at 2 o’clock to fill in the approval form for the hiring of lawyers. After I arrived, the officers at the Office of Inquiry claimed to not know anything about the matter; while they were calling others, I was also busy contacting our lawyers. After a while, a young officer came in from the outside to greet me. After being seated in the small room, this Officer Liu said that the form that was sent to them the last time did not fulfill the requirements, and that a correct application needs to be filled out. Without a second’s hesitation, I took out my pen and started filling out the form, then realized that aside from the applicant’s information, the only content that needed to be added was basically this: in accordance with Number XX provision of the law, I now hire Lawyer XXXX of XXX Law Firm to be the attorney of XXX….

Isn’t that the same as what I had written on the nationally-standardized Power of Attorney form, back when I was hiring lawyers at the law firm? Lawyers Yan Ruyu and Wu Yigang, whom we hired from Beijing’s Wu, Luan, Zhao & Yan Law Firm, had already handed my signed Power of Attorney form requesting for legal aid as well as the law firm letter to the Bureau’s legal department as early as March 22nd of 2006. I voiced my thoughts right then and there to Officer Liu and the other officers present at the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau Office of Inquiry; none of them expressed any opinion on the matter. Really, this form is quite mysterious; it’s impossible for one to find it on any website, and our lawyers, in all their years of employment, have never seen it before. Such a simple form made us busy ourselves with the hiring of lawyers from March to May.

Walking out of the room, the light from the broiling sun made me dizzy. I still remember the first time I came to Beijing for little’s brother’s affair, freezing to the point of shivering despite wearing an overcoat. Now, it’s already the sizzling summer season, and the police still hasn’t found evidence of little brother committing a crime, but I have yet to see the light of little brother’s freedom. When will this long, long march finally reach its end?

May 13, 2006

Day 81: Others who share Hao’s plight

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 6:55 pm

On May 13th Hao’s sister Nina Wu wrote a post titled We are not the only family who are suffering:

Yesterday, I was saying to my friend how lucky I was that even though my brother is in trouble, I have so many friends who care and who support me. Last night, I climbed into bed, exhausted, but could not sleep because I kept thinking about my brother. I logged onto Jin Yan’s blog and saw that even though Hu Jia has been released, Jin Yan is still concerned about other unlucky families, and was wondering whether there are volunteer organizations that help those vulnerable families who are missing loved ones. We are not the only family in pain—who can help Yuan Weijing? Can we give such families more moral support?

Jin Yan has experienced pain, and our family is still in pain, I can understand the other families who are in hopeless situations.

Who remembers Chen Guangcheng http://guoyushan.blog.sohu.com/2938747.html Guo yushan?

May 7, I was on the train returning to Beijing, when suddenly I received a call from Yuan Weijing’s sister-in-law. She wanted to know the situation with our friends in Beijing who were trying to help Guangcheng. She really had to struggle to find time to call me.

Another time, she called me in a spare moment. She was under a lot of pressure: Guangcheng had disappeared and nobody knew what was going to happen; at home there was only her, Guangcheng’s old mother, and an infant not yet one month old; with this combination of elderly plus the baby, there were still about 20-odd people around where they lived guarding them. You can see what kind of an enemy the local government thinks Chen Guangcheng is.

Guangcheng’s mother is old but she can still walk around by herself. However, when she strolls around the village, nobody dares to talk to her. The old lady misses her son, and her health has deteriorated. The sister-in-law has to take of the elderly and the infant, so she is totally exhausted.

Receiving her phone call on the train, I felt their stress and fear, and I did not know how to console her. I asked her whether she knew that Times magazine made a list of 100 peoples of 2006 and that Guangcheng was listed as a “hero and leader”; she said that she knew, and said that Shandong television had reported on that list, of the 5 Chinese people who were chosen (Wen Jiabao, Ang Lee, Huang Guangyu, Ma Jun, Chen Guangcheng) they mentioned 4, only Chen Guangcheng was left out.

May 11, 2006

Day 79: Still no answers

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 6:41 pm

On May 11th Hao’s sister Nina Wu wrote on her blog:

On the afternoon of May 10, our lawyer received a phone call from the city PSB (actually the National Security Unit.) The main thrust of the call was that our “Application to retain a lawyer to offer legal assistance to Hao Wu” was invalid. The family members need to fill out the form themselves. I don’t know whether the content of our application did not meet requirements, or the formatting was nonstandard. If we had filled it out in person, we would have written the same things. Nothing would change. Why didn’t they mention the issue of the forms when they met the lawyer on April 21, and bring it up only now? Counting the days, they received our application ten days ago. If the lawyer didn’t call them many times, how long were they planning to delay before giving us a reply? Actually, I wrote my cell phone number on each document, so they have no excuse for not contacting the suspect’s relatives. Also, I cannot just drop in at the National Security Unit office. Only they can choose the place. All I can do now is set a time and place to complete the forms through our lawyer.

The approval of hiring a lawyer has already taken half a month without any results. When can we see my brother? They are clearly delaying. In fact, they don’t have any evidence that incriminates my brother. What methods or institutions can monitor the National Security Unit to keep it from prosecuting a falsified case?

May 10 is my husband’s birthday, but I completely forgot it. This is the first time I’ve forgotten in the ten years I’ve known him. In the early hours of May 11, as we finished our phone conversation, he told me that the day before was his birthday, and that even he forgot it. It was our daughter who reminded him. I know that my husband said that to keep me from feeling guilty. It’s true. What’s happened in Beijing has completely occupied my thoughts, making my temporarily incapable of being a responsible wife, mother, and daughter. Thank you to my husband and relatives for their understanding and support. In the future I will repay you twofold for the responsibilities I’ve forgotten over this period of time.

May 9, 2006

Day 77: Comprehending “the power of this network”

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 2:21 pm

On May 9th Hao’s sister Nina Wu encountered problems accessing her MSN Spaces blog. Chinese bloggers believe it has to do with the fact that MSN has switched its login system to an interface that it blocked in China (more on that later). Meanwhile, Nina writers: What else is happening?:

I am a citizen who is insensitive toward politics. Today I could not access my blog as I normally do, and I rushed to the newspaper to see if there is anything wrong. The Regulation on Enlisted Company in Stock Market was endorsed today and the market is on a rise, which is certainly none of my business. I further take a close review of the headlines: Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing attends the Six Party Talk on the Iraninan Nuclear Issue; and Vatician City issued a statement concerning the appointment of two bishops in China, in which the spokesman of China’s Foreign Ministry express the regret of Chinese government. And are these the reasons that lead to problem of bad connection to my email and blog?

After returning to Shanghai, I’ve also sent some emails to Hao’s friends in middle school, with no feedback received. I just hope that Hao’s incident won’t bewilder and puzzle people involved. Some of the netizens’ replies really comfort us, and I traced back to their blogs to read some related posts. Some blogs by the so-called “80s” generation make me realize that our new generation has not been overcome and occupied by mere material desire. Despite my joy I also worry about them. You won’t know the existence of the underlying rules of the game until you get in trouble with it. Then you will comprehend the power of this network. It’s valuable to live as thinking person, but you should learn to protect yourself before you are able to change the rules of the game. If people like Hao disappear one after another, the prospect of our lives will be with much less bright and many more families will experience pain.

I wish that all families can be joyful and every one can walk in the sunshine!

P.S. If you have sent an email to me and not yet received any reply, I maybe haven’t received it, or your mail is just on the winding road of delivery.