May 6, 2006

Day 74: Family holiday, missing Hao

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 2:38 pm

On May 6th Hao’s sister Nina Wu wrote the following entry on her Chinese blog, titled My Parents Spent The May First Holidays With Us:

Within the ten hours or so between the afternoon of April 30th and the morning of May 1st, we had an urgent consultation with my parents, we bought the airplane tickets, they traveled and we picked them up. Then we traveled by car. Our original intention was to take my parents away from the sorrow, but they continued to look troubled and without the enthusiasm that they had during previous trips. Only when they saw the lively granddaughter by them did their expressions turned from ‘dark to bright.’

We visited the famous scenic sites at Tiantai Mountain. My mother insisted on not going to Guoqing Temple, the original site of the Tiantai branch of Chinese Buddhism. Her explanation was that her many wishes for my younger brother have never materialized, so she was too broken-hearted to go anymore … Although I am not a Buddhist, I am aware that it was important to be honest and not disprect Buddha. So we gave up the plan to visit the ancient temple. I followed my mother from behind and silently watched her raised her hand to wipe away the tears on her face …

My mother fell ill during the trip and so we decided to cut the trip short. As we left, we made a visit to the ancient home of the Jigong Buddha for a final prayer for my parents’ wishes. In her sick state, my mother lit three joss sticks just like us, and bowed in all four directions. On the way back, we had a tacit understanding not to mention my younger brother. Previous to that, we also had a tacit understanding not to ask each other about our wishes.

We passed through Hangzhou and took a rest next to West Lake. Under the dark blue sky of the night, we finally opened our hearts and told my parents about this affair. We told them about the selfless help from our friends and we told them about the efforts from so many parties … My parent’s misgivings were gradually removed. When told about the friends’ appraisal of my younger brother, my mother did not look so sad anymore and my father did not sigh anymore, as they know the character of their son. I knew then that making my parents come to Shanghai had not been a wasted effort. This was the first step in the ten thousand mile march, and there is still a lot that I need to tell them, including about my blog …

After getting back to Shanghai, I found emails from my friends waiting for me. I learned that the outside world did not forget Hao, that there are still people thinking about him and that there are still people working hard
on his behalf. I was very gratified.

So here, I will express sincere thanks to all those friends on behalf of my parents and the whole family!

Some friends were worried that the Internet comments may cause me to be saddened. Actually, I have become more open-minded after the experiences over all these years. It would be unusual for a society to have only one voice about an affair. did not ban Jessica Copeland’s speech and I have no need to be troubled by the different kinds of voices on my blog. If the commentators carefully read all the
information, he/she would know that Hao was not a believer in any kind of religion. Actually, no matter whether is is Buddhism, Christianity, Catholicism or Islam, the core principles ought to be about being good. I have Buddhist and Christian friends. When they heard that Hao was missing, they prayed and they burned joss sticks for his early safe return. Love has no borders, and being good is not divided by belief or sect.

May 3, 2006

Day 69: Nina reflects on her brother’s loss of freedom

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 8:15 am

On May 1st Hao’s sister Nina wrote a blog post, The Bridge of Communication:

Deng Xiaoping had opened the gates of the country through his tour of and talks in the South, but people overseas still know little of China. I remember on my first trip to the United States in 1997, I’d met some kindly and approachable elderly people while strolling on La Jolla Beach. After barely 3 sentences, they started asking me questions on whether I had enough to eat in China; then, when a boatful of Chinese stowaways was found in Los Angeles Harbour, Americans tended to start debating with me the reasons why the Chinese sought to go to America by any means possible. No matter how I tried explaining to them, they found it impossible to imagine that “the good life” also existed in China. At that time, television channels broadcasted documentaries about Shanghai, the majority of whose scenes focused on squatter settlements and by-passed Pudong and the newly-emerging cityscapes. Quite possibly the standard impression Americans had of Shanghainese at that time was this: bleary-eyed in the morning; noisily unloading their nightpots; bicycles weaving in and out of narrow passageways; the very majestic “Lover’s Wall” of The Bund at night. As for Chinese politics, mostly what the television channels broadcasted were biographies of Chinese leaders and the Tiananmen Square incident. Repeatedly broadcasted were those few scenes and the interviews with student leaders; rare was any reflections from other perspectives. At the time, I had argued with little brother, feeling that the knowledge the outside world had of China was one-sided and lacking, but I did not know how to rectify this lack.

It’s hard to say that the news reported by CCTV is completely objective and comprehensive. Even “Oriental Horizon”, which has quite an influence within the mainland, only goes so far and no further in regards to the reporting of certain events. The style of this program is similar to that staple American interview program, “60 Minutes”, but content-wise often isn’t as in-depth as the latter. As China’s official window to the outside world – CCTV9, in terms of content, production quality and other points of evaluation, also has difficulties holding the long-term interest of the overseas audience. In order to have those from overseas understand the true China, there needs to be objective, diversified pathways of information.

The rise of the Internet indubitably provided a more flexible, choice-driven conduit for information communication, and also let Haozi find an effective way for understanding and exchange within and outside of the Great Wall. After little brother returned home to China, other than making plans for using the camera lens to record the changes happening in China, he also picked up his pen and wrote on his blog one story after another of what was happening around him. The sharpness of his perception made even this educated-and-having-worked-in-China-for-years older sister acknowledge her inferiority: his style was witty and lively, every story coming to vivid life, completely without sanctimony or the suspicion of artifice, seducing the reader into returning again and again; the stories he told involved the lives of the Chinese, the various aspects of society – to visit his blog is like seeing the world on the other side of the wall through a small hole in the wall. As for whether he was objective or fair, his readers knew the score; he synthesized various reasonings to analyze an event, a problem, seeking a moderate stance, free from bias, and not to mention that he welcome various debate on his blog. That, I think, is the main reason his weblog was heartily welcomed by everybody. Aside from that, having studied, worked, and lived in the States for many years, he could easily compose in English; this is the most important reason Haozi’s blog was able to gain international attention amidst the numerous Chinese blogs, even though one can find bloggers in China who are even better at telling Chinese tales.

Upon reading this, every reader must be saying, “Old wife Wang, bragging about the melons she’s selling”. Yes, I am proud of my little brother. But every since Haozi got into trouble, I’ve been reading my little brother’s weblog again and again, thinking to find the reason behind his fall to his current disgraced state. In the weblog, he didn’t express any political bias, nor used any anti-Party, anti-government turns of phrase, nor had any unreasonable rants. If readers have the inclination, they could visit Haozi’s blog, Beijing or Bust, or to help me analyze a little exactly what mistake Haozi made that caused him to lose an individual’s most precious possession – his freedom?

Also: on the last day of April, which is last night, around 8 o’clock, I received a phone call from Officer Liu of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, notifying me that they’d received on Thursday (yesterday was Sunday April 30th, , right? Don’t know why there’s a three-day gap in between?) the application “Requesting the Hiring of an Attorney to Provide Legal Aid to Wu Hao” I’d sent by Express Mail on Tueday. which is currently being transferred to the services department (the National Security Team?). Actually, in the two days since I sent out the Express Mail, the attorney had already notified by phone relevant personnel at the National Security Team of the sent application– and the National Security Team hasn’t yet delegated someone to pick it up? According to the letters regulation, the Letters and Complaints Bureau will monitor to make sure the relevant department gives a response within 15 days. It’s the head supervisory organ - could our anticipation be any higher? Especially considering that the voice of Officer Liu on the phone - full of Beijing patois - was kindly and approachable, his attitude impeccable. It’s only a tiny little program; having arrived at now, we’ve already exhausted a lot of time, but without seeing the sign signaling this program’s end. Perhaps, after this so-called program has completely run its course, we’ll long be white-haired.

A person’s freedom possibly appears very insignificant in the face of “national secrets”. But how much time does a person have?

Day 67: Actions taken for Hao

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 8:08 am

On April 29th Hao’s sister Nina posted the following in English on her blog:

Who/where we, Hao’s family members and friends, have contacted in the last couple of months:

1. China

1) Family’s efforts

Letters addressed to Leadership in China

* Chief of Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, Ma Zhen Chuan by me

* Secretary of Beijing Municipal Committee of Politics and Law, Qiang Wei, by me

* President Hu Jin Tao separately by our father and me

* Premier Wen Jia Bao by our father

* Secretary of National Public Security, Zhou Yong Kang, by our father

China government departments we have contacted

* 3 inquiries to Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau Chaoyang District Branch Foreign Police Station;

* 1 visit to Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau Chaoyang District Branch;

* 3 visits to Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau (including once being barred outside the entrance of the PSB work building)

* 2 visits to Ministry of Public Security (one terminating outside the gates of the MPS on Changan Street, one terminating at Dongtanzi Hutong)

* 1 complaint reception at Beijing Municipal Government;

* 1 letter to Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau Disciplinary Inspection Commitee

* 1 visit to Beijing Municipal People’s Procuratorate;

2) Lawyers’ efforts

* Have written to Supervisory Office of Beijing Public Security Bureau, requesting that the relevant departments be charged with rapidly correcting their inappropriate behavior, safeguarding the lawyer’s execution of professional duties according to law, and safeguarding the procedural rights of the accused.

* Have reported to Beijing People’s Procuratorate regarding the illegal process by which the Beijing Public Security Bureau National Security Team handled Hao’s case;

* Have gone to Beijing Public Security Bureau Petition Office to exchange opinions with the police, and clarified the “ misunderstandings “ ;

* Have helped Hao’s family to submit an application to procure lawyers to the public security bureau.

2. United Nation

* Petitions Team, Office of the United Nations, High Commissioner for Human Rights have been asked to inquire into my brother’s case.

* “Form to Submit a Communication on a Victim of an Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance” has been submitted to Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.

* Ulrich Garms from UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Special Procedures Branch has sent an email to Hao’s family,and the questionnaire has been submitted to United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention;

3. US

* A letter addressed to President Bush appeals to his talking to President Hu for the reason that Hao is being detained and when China’s government intends to release or prosecute him;

* Haozi’s friends in the United States have spontaneously written letters to American congressmen, demanding that they pay attention the matter of Haozi’s unreasonable arrest.

Hao’s other friends are working on other methods I may have not know in details…….

…….. There are more and more……

April 29, 2006

Day 64: Impact of Hao’s detention on his parents

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 3:38 pm

On April 26, Hao’s sister Nina wrote the following entry, “Can’t say to happy birthday to our father“:

After my parents have known Hao’s incident, they phone me everyday to discuss what we can do. When I tell them that I’ve tried every possible means but my efforts are in vain, all they can do is sigh. My mother asks every time: “This is a country built on law. How can it be?” Our parents have experienced the all kinds of events in their life and political pressure. After the adoption of opening up policy in China, the life of average citizens are better off, so is the legal system and political environment. Hao’s situation is like a huge blow to them, which tells them the reality is not so perfect as they’ve imagined. I know that every evening, our parents discuss it until midnight. They want to write letter to Minister of Public Security, President Hu and Premier Wen. Although I know all these efforts are useless, but I still provide them mail address, telling my father how to deliver the letter. My mother has been crying a lot recently. She wants to ask them:”My son is a good boy, why did you abduct him? You too are parents yourself, how could you do such thing with your own basic human
conscience?” They want to go to Beijing to make an appeal. I stop them because I fear that they can not stand such a physical and mental torture.

Last night when I spoke to parents, I suddenly realized that it’s April 26th, our father’s birthday. I hastily say happy birthday to father. Every year my brother and I would prepare carefully for my parent’s birthday. If we were not at home, we would send gift to them as a surprise, or ask other member of the family to hold a birthday party for them. This year, we have neither time nor mood to prepare a gift and it seems that my father’s birthday will be spent in gloom. Since the voice mail of my brother is still available, I left a message to him and some police officers in charge of this case, to inform them of my parents’ determination to go to Beijing
for appeal, to hope that my brother can get an opportunity to have a phone call to say happy birthday to his father. I also send short message to his mobile phone, which he will never receive.

Apparently the police can’t find any evidence of criminal charges against my brother, so why are they still putting him behind bars? When did they turn detaining into supervision and why didn’t they notify the
family? We and our lawyer can’t pay a visit to him and my brother lost his freedom innocently. Who can be responsible for what we have spent on time, energy and mind? We can not allow them to operate everything
behind the curtain. With the help of our lawyer, Wu Luanyan, we have already sent an application letter to the Beijing Bureau of Public Security, to request hiring a lawyer for Hao Wu. The UN human rights office also has feedback. I believe that everything is going in the right direction.

NOTE: Many thanks to our volunteer translation team of 5 people who wish to remain anonymous. They have been working hard to translate Nina’s blog posts almost daily.

April 28, 2006

Day 62: Police give lawyers the runaround

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 9:22 pm

On April 24th, Hao’s sister Nina wrote on her blog a post titled “The Lawyers Received The Response From The National Security Team:”

On the afternoon of April 21, pursuant to a telephone notice from the Beijing Public Security Bureau (National Security Team), my appointed lawyer went to the reception office of the municipal bureau. Three police officers met with the lawyer, and only identified themselves as municipal bureau workers who are representing the municipality to explain and respond to the lawyer even as they took notes for this meeting. One of them held up the letter from the appointed lawyer to the National Security Team and said: the three questions raised by the appointed lawyer (namely, detention beyond the legal time limit; failure to notify the family and the appointed lawyer about the nature of the case; failure to arrange for the principal to meet with a laywer within 48 hours) were actually misunderstandings, because:

First, the enforced procedure to limit the personal freedom of Hao Wu has changed from detention to supervised residence;

Second, this case involves the leaking of secrets and therefore it was not necessary to inform the family about the reason of the case, the suspected crime and the relevant government units involved in the case;

Third, whether the lawyer can be permitted to intervene requires the principal and his family to apply to the relevant government units for permission. To this date, Hao Wu himself and his family have not applied to
the public security bureau to procure a lawyer.

With respect to these statements, the lawyer expressed the following opinions at the time: the reason for the “misunderstandings” were not due to the family or the lawyer. Besides, the family has already applied to
procure a lawyer.

1. On February 22, Hao Wu was taken away. Afterwards, the family was not formally and precisely notified about when he was detained or when that was turned into supervised residence;

2. On March 20, the family of Hao Wu was simply notified at the municipal office that he had been “detained.” They were not informed about whether the case incolved “leaking secrets” and they were not told about the
relevant government unit or the place of detention. Therefore, it was normal for the family to procure a lawyer and for the law office to accept the appointment. Under these circumstances, the lawer will treat this according to normal procedures. Furthermore, the family of Hao Wu informed the receiving personnel at the municipal reception office on March 29 that they have procured a lawyer, and the personnel did not inform them at the
time that the case involved the “leaking of secrets”;

3. The lawyer’s office sent a letter on March 21 to ask the municipal bureau for a response from the relevant government unit as well as to meet with the principal. The Chaoyang District bureau replied on April 7 that there was no such case and they had not detained Hao Wu. The family found out from the Jianwai station that the National Security Team was in charge of the case. On April 12, the lawyer’s office wrote to the National Security Team. This delayed the procedure, but it should not be attributed to misunderstanding by the family and the lawyer or because they had acted incorrectly with respect to the procedure. The lawyer acted in accordance with the legal procedure, so the public security unit should solemnly follow the criminal procedure while respecting and protecting the basic rights of the principal. At the same time, the relevant government unit should have a clear channel for informing the principal’s family about how to exercise their rights, to guarantee that the principal’s family can turn in the application and to understand the nature of the case so as to avoid

Given the requirement for the family to file a written application, the lawyer asked the municipal bureau to provide a concrete method by which the principal’s family can submit a request for a lawyer and for the lawyer to arrange for an interview. The other party said that they will report the situation to their superiors and respond as quickly as possible. A police officer named Zhang left down a telephone number for contact.

The family asked the lawyers for advice, and their opinions were:

1. The case of Hao Wu probably involves issues connected to other people and therefore cannot be resolved immediately. The evidence that the police has on hand is insufficient to persuade the procuratorate to approve an arrest. The maximum time of criminal detention is only 30 days, so he has been switched to supervised residence. As for the “leaking of secrets,” this is just a way of concealment.

2. According to the “Law of Criminal Prosecution,” even after the family submits an application to procure a lawyer to the public security bureau, it is still possible to have a response of “not approved.” Nevertheless, we
still have to go through this.

3. Based upon what we can do, the lawyers will fulfill their responsibility as lawyers and their position and principle of defending the legal rights of the principal will not change.

4. The procuratorate does not have the power to monitor whether the process by which the public security bureau handled this case is illegal.

We can only go through social opinon and other means to monitor.

If you have seen my previous blog posts, you will know that we have made all sorts of efforts and that the various reasons and excuses from the National Security Team are wan and feeble.

The relevant requirements in the “Law of Criminal Prosecution”:

Article 51: The People’s Court, the People’s Procuratorate and the Public Security Bureau may under the following circumstances place the suspected criminal or accused under bail or supervised residence:

(1) possibly sentenced to restraint, detention or otherwise given additional sentence:
(2) possibly sentenced to a term of imprisonment or more, but such that bail or supervised residence will not pose a threat to society.

The bail or supervised residence will be implemented by the public security organization.

Article 57: The suspected criminal or accused under supervised residence should follow the following regulations:

(1) Must not leave the place of residence without the approval of the supervising organization; those without a place of residence must not leave the designated place of residence without approval;
(2) Must not meet anyone without the approval of the supervising organization;
(3) Must appear when summoned for interrogation or trial;
(4) Must not interfere with any testimony by witnesses in any form;
(5) Must not destroy any evidence, or create false evidence, or collude to create false tesimony;

If the suspected criminal or accused under supervised residence should violate the aforementioned regulations in a serious manner, he/she will be arrested.

Article 58: The People’s Court, the People’s Procuratorate and the Public Security Bureau must not hold the suspected criminal or accused on bail for more than 12 months or in supervised residence for more than 6 months.

During the period of bail or supervised residence, the investigation, prosecution and trial of the case must not be interrupted. If there should be any inappropriate criminal liability or if the maximum limit of bail or superivised residence is exceeded, the order for bail or supervised residence should be rescinded in time. When the bail or supervised residence is removed, the organization in charge of the bail or supervised residence should be notified in a timely manner.

Article 64: When the public security bureau detains a person, an order for detention should be shown.

After the person is detained, with the exception that it may interfere with the investigation or it was impossible to complete the notificiations, the reason for the detention and the place of detention should be communicated
to the family of the detainee or his/her unit within 24 hours.

Article 74: The case for which suspected criminal or accused is detained cannot be closed during the period of investigative detention, prosecution, first trial and appeal trial. Instead, it must be continuously investigated
and evaluated, and the suspected criminal or accused may be given bail or supervised residence.

Article 96: From the day of the first interrogation or the day after forced restriction is imposed, the suspected criminal can procure a lawyer to provide legal advice and file appeals and complaints. After the suspected
criminal is arrested, the appointed lawyer can apply for bail on his behalf. In cases involving national secrets, when the suspected crimincal wants to hire a lawyer, it should be approved by the invesigating agency. The appointed lawyer has the right to learn about the suspected crimes of the suspected criminal from the investigating organizations and may meet with the detained suspected criminal and attmept to understand the case from the suspected criminal. When the lawyer meets with the detained suspected criminal, the investigating organization may be represented at the scene depending on the nature and requirements of the case. In a case which involves national secrets, when the lawyer meets with the detained suspected
criminal, it should be approved by the investigating organization.

April 25, 2006

Day 61: Nina writes of injustice

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 10:48 am

On April 23rd, Day 61 of Hao’s detention, his sister Nina posted an entry to her blog titled Injustice:

There are too many injustices in life!

On Friday night, my husband and I went shopping at the supermarket. As our car was exiting from Century Street onto Yanggao Street, a jeep with a “Practicing” sticker passed us at high speed. Since there was only one lane, my husband was unable to avoid the car. When this car with the license plate “Hu D” overtook us, its rear wheel struck our front wheel. A young lady stepped out of the jeep, and at first said “Sorry.” When we started talking about responsibility for the accident, she insisted that two lanes were merging, and because her car was in the main lane, she had the right of way. Please! The exit was quite far from where the two lanes merged. By then our car had already driven on the main lane for a stretch. After the 110 police car and traffic cops arrived, they looked at the indentation on the front right wheel of our car and the marks on the back of hers, and assigned us full responsibility, according to both common sense and traffic laws (in the end, even the traffic cop said that we were wrongly accused.) That “Mushroom hair“ was suddenly inspired, and asked us to compensate her 200 yuan, saying, “The insurance company will cover it anyway,” and, “There’s time to pay now.” In the end, I could only tell her that I hoped she took the money with a clean conscience.

Friends! If a car is going to hit you from behind, and if you have a few seconds to think before yanking your car to the side, please analyze the situation: can you avoid a collision? If so, turn the wheel and avoid it. If not, please let the car hit you from behind. Whatever you do, don’t dodge and let the rear wheel of the other car strike your front wheel. Otherwise you won’t be able to explain that you were in the right.

Injustice in life isn’t only here. A friend yielded to an electric bicycle. After the car stopped, the bicycle started to slow down. Because it was for a bicycle, because the driver was a woman, and perhaps because she had an out-of-town accent, she was fined 1000 Yuan by a policeman. My husband and daughter once saw a person from Xinjiang, among seven others, stick his foot under a slowly turning taxi. Claiming it had been crushed, he forced the driver to hand over all his money. As soon as the taxi left, he started walking about unhindered…

Injustice in life happens in many places. A normal businessperson, simply because he isn’t willing to pay the tax collector’s “personal expenses” or offends “certain people” while doing business, might suffer a harsh auditing, and even enter prison due to unjust judgment on charges of “tax evasion.” An honest, ordinary person gets in a dispute with a neighbor. Because the other side is the little brother of the district party secretary, the ordinary man suffers harassment and beatings for a long time…

My brother was taken away by police without any legal procedure. He can’t see his family or lawyer. This is the unjust treatment of Haozi by the police. His family members have been unable to get information about him for a long time, and have not received an explanation from the police or government. They also endure torture from the words of the police. Is this the unjust treatment that a suspect’s relatives must endure? Our life is laid out before their eyes; must we endure the humiliation of being stripped naked? Must we endure the lasting effects of shadows on our psyches? Worried about unnecessarily troubling friends and relatives who do not yet know, and even influencing their lives, we hurriedly end our phone conversations. We also do not warmly welcome friends into our house or drop in on them, nor do we enthusiastically take part in all kinds of social events. Must we endure the hardship of leaving behind a normal social life? If these are the hardships that we must endure, we have the courage to endure them. I only hope that sun and moon can witness the great pains we have taken, and friends and relatives will one day understand our temporary rudeness and unreasonableness. I hope that someday lighthearted laughter and welcoming smiles can return to our household.

I hope that this society will have more conscience, justice, and respect for the law, making these injustices fewer and fewer.

April 23, 2006

Day 60: Two months have passed

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 12:41 pm

On April 22nd, day 60 of Hao Wu’s detention, his sister Nina Wu wrote on her blog:

It has been a long time since we last received any news of little brother. I spend every day in anxiousness and resignation, all the while pondering: if every institution in our society, every individual among us takes up his or her rightful duty, would the situation be somewhat different? Faced with the reality of brother’s disappearance, I have done my best at assuming the responsibilities of an elder sister. I entrusted the matter to an attorney, and the attorney has also assumed the responsibility of defending to the best of his abilities and within lawful confines the legal rights of the litigant.

In light of the numerous fruitless negotiations with the Public Security Bureau, on April the 20th, I entrusted the lawyer with going to the Beijing Municipal Procuratorate Crime Reporting Centre to submit documents for the suit against the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau National Defense Team over the illegal handling of the case. A procurator received the attorney and listened seriously to his objections, but expressed that according to current professional divisions of labour and legal regulations, the Procuratorate is unable to enforce supervision and adjudication over these kind of issues. As for the problems of detainment past deadline and unlawful procedure, the Central Politics and Law Committee has this regulation set forth in an administrative document: each enforcement agency is responsible for its own supervision and redress. Therefore, he stated that if the attorney still insists on submitting the documents, all he can do is pass them on to the Municipal Public Security Bureau for disposal. Seeing this state of affairs, the attorney gave the documents to the Procuratorate and came back empty-handed. The aforementioned set of documents was the same as the one I had submitted to the Procuratorate earlier, and to this day there hasn’t been any response from the National Defense Team.

According to “People’s Procuratorate Code of Criminal Procedure”, the responsibilities of People’s Procuratorate’s in ensuring the legal rights of citizens include: forming a relevant response, on the basis of serious surveillance and verification, to the unlawful arrest, detainment, and search of citizens by public security organizations - against which citizens have the right to bring forth charges and appeals.

Article 380: the People’s Procuratorate must, in accordance with the law, exercise supervision over the lawfulness of investigatory activities carried out by public security organizations.

Article 386: the People’s Procuratorate, after discovering that a public security organization or public security offical has - in the process of investigating, deciding, enforcing, modifying, or rescinding coercive measures and other acitivities - behaved illegally, must put forth recommendations for redress in a timely manner.

But all these legally relevant regulations have been refuted by a single document of the Central Politics and Law Committee? The legal meaning of the People’s Procuratorate, its supervisatory responsibility as an independent third-party have all been negated by this one adminstrative document? And what should be the responsibilities of public organizations in terms of safeguarding the legal rights of citizens? I have too many questions for which I need to seek answers.

April 21, 2006

Day 59: Telling Hao’s parents

Filed under: News, Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 7:26 am

On April 21st Hao’s sister Nina writes, “Our Parents Know…

Back in Shanghai, I really wish I could clone myself. One minute I am discussing investment with my colleagues, the next minute I am answering calls from caring friends. In the evening, I end a meeting with my department, and then attend another one with people in the industry to discuss the industry’s direction. When I finally step through the door to my home, my eldest Aunt calls; she had met with my parents that afternoon and tried to describe my little brother’s situation in the most positive way possible. She said my mother walked her to the door and seemed calm enough. I hid my agony; the more composed they seem, the more overwhelmed they actually are. Sure enough, they called me a few minutes later, speaking with heavy nasal sounds. I know they have been hiding their grief, only showing their true emotions in front of their daughter whom they can trust. It’s odd how I am usually gripped by despair whenever someone mentions little brother, yet this time I was surprisingly calm on the phone. I gathered all those consoling words that other people tell me and fed them to my parents, and I tried to make light of little brother’s situation. In fact, as I try to convince my parents to believe what I say, I am also trying to convince myself to believe that little brother will be okay. My parents and I believe in my brother’s judgment, but they have experienced the difficult times of the past, so they can’t help but see the present situation with pessimism.

When I think of my parents’ burden, I straighten my spine, as I now have two other people’s hope on my shoulders.

Friends tell me Bloomberg News of April 19 and the Washington Post of April 20 both mention Haozi’s case. Friends have joked that Haozi has become a “celebrity”. I can only laugh bitterly; who wants to become this kind of “celebrity”?

Here is the link to the Washington Post article: Shattering the China Dream.

April 20, 2006

Day 58: Nina writes of “The Absurd”

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 8:38 am

On April 20th, Hao’s sister Nina Wu wrote on her blog:

April 19, a friend called to tell me she could not view my blog. In fact, even now, I am unable to normally log onto my blog and hotmail account.

At midnight on both April 18 and 19, I sent sms messages to a woman, hoping to meet with her before leaving Beijing on the 19th, but she did not reply my messages. I couldn’t wait any longer, so I gave her a phone call during the daytime of the 19th. She told me she had not received any of my messages.

Lately, I have not received any replies to the emails I send out. Some “frequently mailed” accounts have stopped communicating. The phone is acting funny too, sometimes it will suddenly stop ringing; sometimes I pick up and no one answers on the other end. I have even been cut-off mid-conversation and heard high-pitched noises. Yet, I am still able to make sense of these disturbances. In the past few days, however, there occurred some really absurd events. I am shocked and confused, I really can’t think of other words to describe the way I feel. Dear God! Please don’t destroy the last dregs of respect that I have for my adversaries.

Is it worth it to go to all this trouble for such a vulnerable and insignificant person as me?

April 18, my parents have been calling everywhere, trying to find my brother. I hid in the apartment, listening to the phone ring, lacking the courage to answer it. In the end, my mother interrogated me on my mobile phone about whether something has happened to my little brother. I could only mumble some incoherent excuse to her. According to our plans, my eldest Aunt should have called my parents on the 19th to casually tell them that Haozi is under police investigation. At the moment, I am back in Shanghai, focused on my parent’s situation. Will they accept what my eldest Aunt tells them? Please God, let their health be able to sustain this shock.

Recently, I have tried everything to log onto my blog, but I encounter a lot of problems. Please be patient, everyone; I am not under any physical restrictions.

April 19, 2006

Day 56, Part 2: Hao’s birthday ends, still no news

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 8:14 am

On the evening of April 18th, Hao’s 34th birthday, his sister Nina Wu wrote an entry, What else can I do for Haozi’s birthday?

Last night, after 11 o’clock, I tried to log onto my blog here on, but kept on failing to. In the beginning, I thought MSN was updating its server, however at 5am “the page you are trying to access is [still] unavailable”. The server has never taken that long to update. I tried a different way to go online—aha! It worked. When I tried to use the broadband in the apartment, it failed again. I could surf other sites, but could not log onto, nor my hotmail account. I had to resort to the clumsiest way to upload my April 18 entry and some photographs, at a snail’s pace, onto…I struggled for about an hour.

In the few hours between midnight and dawn, I am most efficient. Apart from finishing my blog entry, I also wrote a heartfelt email to the United Nations Human Rights Council, and I drafted letters to President Hu Jintao and President Bush as the sister of an innocent citizen of the PRC who has been detained without charge; the sister of a permanent resident of the United States who was supposed to celebrate his birthday at home…I managed to sleep about 2 or 3 hours and hurriedly got out of bed again:

1) Printed out various letters and documents;
2) Planned a way to send the letter addressed to President Bush to the US embassy;
3) Couriered the letter addressed to President Hu (will President Hu receive it in time?);
4) Sent another fax to confirm whether the UNHRC received my letter;

No matter what, my little brother should have a bowl of noodles for longevity on his birthday. I found a Chengdu Ming Xiaochi (Famous Snacks of Chengdu) restaurant near the apartment and ordered a bowl of dandan noodles. My little brother also has an insatiable sweet-tooth, so I ordered our famous Sichuan sweet dumplings with fermented rice. My little brother was absent, so I had to help him finish this simple birthday meal.

On Haozi’s birthday, there is no better gift than to wish him peace and safety. In the afternoon, I went alone to the Lamma Temple and lit three sticks of incense in every incense pot there was, silently praying for him. It is the sincerity that counts! I hope the omnipotent bodhisattva will hear our sincere prayers.