April 18, 2006

Day 56: Hao’s 34th Birthday

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 8:59 am

April 18th is Hao’s birthday - he’s spending it who knows where. Nina wrote the following birthday post:

Unable to access spaces.msn.com for six consecutive hours, which made made me very anxious. Because today is Haozi’s birthday, I would like to say on my blog an early “Happy Birthday, Little Bro”. This is the first time in thirty-plus years I haven’t been able to wish him a happy birthday either personally or by phone.

Several hours earlier, friends had gotten together for dinner. At the end, they came up one after another to give me a hug, as well as to whisper in my ear their early happy birthday wishes for Haozi. After having just returned to the apartment, another friend of Haozi came by with a little cake, because she knew April 18th is Haozi’s birthday. Even though he’s in some unknown place and unable to accept everyone’s blessings, she still hoped to express a little of her heartfelt sentiment. I knew I had to be strong. Tears were circling around the rims of my eyes, but in the end I did not let them fall.

Friends believe Haozi is upright and innocent, with nothing incriminating to trap him by. Everyone believes he will be out soon, which is why previously they had still shouted noisily: “After Haozi gets out we’ll have a party! Must give him a good ass-kicking.” Although later they no longer mentioned the matter of the party, they’re still making plans for his life “post-detention”. A few friends even sent over messages about job applications, hoping Haozi, after being freed, will be able to immediately use the busyness of work to temporarily forget the shadow of those times. Now, the deadlines for those applications have passed. Constable S’s original promise of having us wait out another month has also passed its deadline by 4 days (From a couple of days at the beginning, to a couple of weeks, to the later deadline of an extra month – they haven’t fulfilled their promise once.) No news whatsoever of little brother. Over at the side of the police it’s deathly quiet.

April 18th 2006 marks the 56th day Haozi disappeared from our lives. I’m afraid he never thought he would be spending another birthday of his adulthood in such an unique manner, in such an unique kind of a place. I even wonder — if he knows today is April the 18th, if he remembers that today is his birthday. In previous years, I would always select an item for his birthday gift with the utmost care; the worst had still been a birthday card. This year, I don’t know whether the following list can passably qualify as a blind gift to my brother:

* 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 visit to Beijing Municipal People’s Procuratorate;
* 2 letters addressed to leadership, sent by express mail to Chief of Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau and to Secretary of Beijing Municipal Committee of Politics and Law

And:

* 19 entries in “Missing Haozi” weblog journal;
* Countless tears;
* Countless prayers;

But, shouldn’t include:

* 0 messages of official feedback from the government to the question of “Where is Haozi, why has Haozi disappeared?”

Haozi’s far-flung friends in the United States have spontaneously written letters to American congressmen, demanding that they pay attention the matter of Haozi’s unreasonable arrest. These past two days, e-mails have just come in – don’t know whether they count as birthday gifts from friends to Haozi or not?

Friends who are concerned about Haozi, if you would like to send Haozi birthday “gifts”, you can leave your sincere blessings in the comments box, along with dialing the following telephone numbers and inquiring a little into Haozi’s fate (you could tell them Haozi disappeared on February 2nd, 2006 and that presently neither relatives nor the lawyer can see him, that they don’t know where he is nor the reason behind his detainment):

Ministry of Public Security 86-10- 65139696

Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau 86-10- 65246271

Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau Chaoyang District Branch 86-10- 85953400

Beijing Foreign Police Station 86-10-65025557

Beijing Municipal Government 86-10-12345

Concerned friends of Hao can also click here to sign an online petition or participate in our letter-writing campaign.

Thanks once again to Nausicaa Smile for the translation.

April 16, 2006

Day 53: Hao’s sister writes of family confusion

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 5:18 pm

Thanks to pseudonymous blogger Nausicaa Smile for translating Nina’s April 15th post, titled “Confusion:”

Hubby only told me over the phone today that yesterday, while absent-mindedly worrying over my brother’s and my situation, he’d crashed the car.

Mom also called brother’s apartment this morning. Fortunately, brother’s friend picked up and consoled her by promising to leave Haozi a note to get him to call home as soon as possible. Brother’s birthday is April 18th – looks like it’s getting almost impossible now to hide the truth. I sent another text message to the number of that still shut-off cellphone, asking them to at least let brother call home and concoct some excuse to reassure his parents, seeing as how the old couple aren’t in the best of health. I don’t know if they aren’t paying any attention still. I can only let hubby plan for the worst.

I gaze out the window at the willow catkins flying around, my feelings in an equal riot. Who has made our lives into such a bundle of mess? Have I let all the relatives and friends surrounding me feel pressured? The situation being what it is, I can only blame myself for being useless.

I am still pondering: if I were imprisoned inside, what would my brother be like outside? I trust that he too, would be doing all he possibly could. After all, through our veins flows the same blood - inseparable is the love of kin.

Right now, I feel so helpless. I truly don’t know what I can still do?

April 15, 2006

Day 52: Nina’s continued anguish

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 10:31 pm

On April 14th Nina wrote a heartbroken post titled Bubbles of Happiness:

I warned myself a million times that I needed to be steadfast. I couldn’t be sad and weep again. I couldn’t show my weakness in front of others. Still, today I wept on the streets. The same image kept flickering in my mind: in the springtime sun, a little girl blowing bubbles was running after the bubbles dancing with the colorful reflection of sunlight. But in the end she could only watch as each popped before her eyes. I think that I was that little girl blowing bubbles. I once thought I was so close to happiness, but before I achieved it, it broke just like a soap bubble. This kind of painful helplessness has made me brittle like glass.

Why can the decisions of one or two people in the National Security Unit dominate the willpower of a huge group of people, and also legally find excuses for themselves? Is it to prove their power? Is it to be promoted one step higher? God! You shouldn’t fabricate unjust cases against people, as in the Cultural Revolution. In the publicized “Harmonious Society” of today, why are there still people stiffly pushing one family after another into chasms of anguish? Do they represent the government? If they are operating on the basis of their own political benefits, won’t it push one family after another into antagonism with the government?

I want to take a stand against the formless web before me, but I can’t see it or tear it. It has submerged my husband and me in a world of gray. What else can we do? Dispirited, I sat down on the side of the road. I really wanted to turn into the Monkey King, scream out at the monsters, and with a wave of my golden cudgel sweep all the evil spirits out of this world.

Day 51: Police give Nina the run-around

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 10:45 am

On Thursday April 13th Nina made a renewed attempt to get answers from the police about her brother. Reading the following entry titled “Doubts,” it seems like each time she goes to see the police, the run-around gets worse:

It’s just the opposite from when I returned to Shanghai. Last night, it was raining gently in Shanghai until the early morning, and when I arrived in Beijing, the breath of springtime sunlight against my cheek was enough to make me tremble. I was only gone for one week, but spring launched a surprise attack and occupied Beijing. The willows by the road are uniform and pensive green; the peach blossoms are surprisingly gorgeous.

Practicing T’ai Chi in daily life improves one’s health and character, but when governmental organs use Tai Chi to do their business it’s extremely vexing. The attorney’s letter we went to the city Public Security Bureau was forwarded to the Chaoyang branch office. They claimed that they had yet to find a Hao Wu among their detainees. Even contacting the Jianwai Police Station failed to get results. We couldn’t even ascertain who was assisting the city bureau to investigate the case. It was all excuses! I have met officers from the city bureau and the Chaoyang branch office who know that the Beijing city PSB National Security Unit is responsible for the case. They could hint at the related internal organs of the PSB, but still claim they don’t know? I remember the first time I went to the Beijing PSB petition office, before they understood the situation they found the officer responsible after just a few phone calls. Now these same organs still don’t know anything new after over ten working days? If they go after murderers and thieves with this kind of efficiency, then real bad people must be enjoying their free and unfettered lives, without any worry of suffering legal punishment.

Last Wednesday the nameless police officer that I met warned me to “follow legal channels” to solve the problem. I don’t know where my current actions have overstepped the rights granted me by law. The materials I’ve delivered to each bureau have disappeared like stones into the sea. The receptionists of corresponding work units shift responsibility onto one another. As an ordinary Chinese person, it is depressing. Although the provisions of relevant laws and regulations set the rights of suspects, when you actually do things according to law you discover that you are facing a black hole. Don’t hope for any response. Can you sue them for “negligence”? Can you sue them for knowing the law but not implementing it? The result is that perhaps they investigate themselves, judge themselves, and it ends there. Sigh. There is law, but it is hard to rely on.

The Code of Criminal Procedure has strict conditions and procedural regulations on all kinds of coercive measures, but one sentence—“Unless it obstructs investigation or there is no way to notify under the circumstances”—obliterates all interpretation and execution of the law. As long as the relevant organs and employees have the greatest level of “freedom” and “power,” they can claim “obstruction of investigation” and avoid the restrictions of these laws and regulations anytime, anyplace. Perhaps a case might not actually have any elements that would obstruct investigation, but the case will still be placed in the gray area of “special” legal handling. Can’t the practical conditions of “exceptions” be detailed in the law…to limit the potential for abuse? Everyone is equal before the law. Think about the helplessness and weakness of suspects and their family members in the face of “exceptions.” Can’t this be changed?

I asked all the “calm” police officers the same question: “Have you ever had a family member suddenly taken away, without knowing why or where they were taken?” No one could answer positively. Really, not one. I think that not one of them has ever experienced this kind of pain.

I was also informed that I should quietly wait for the “organization” to tell me the final outcome. What is the meaning of this “organization”? The courts? The Procuratorate? The Public Security Bureau? Or the government of the city we live in? They couldn’t tell me.

April 14, 2006

Day 50 final thought from Nina

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 7:34 am

Late at night on April 12th before heading back to Beijing to continue to work for her brother’s release, Nina wrote of her admiration for Zeng Jinyan, the wife of recently-released AIDS activist Hu Jia.

Jinyan went away on a trip. It may be several days before I can read her blog again. When I read her blog, I feel ashamed of my inferiority. Her views on some problems are truly penetrating and incisive. Actually, I know that she used to think like an ordinary young woman, wanting the peaceful and stable life of a common person. It was her surroundings and experiences that changed her original intentions, making her pick up the pen and her tenacious will to defend her family and her ideals. I admire her compassion, her selfless contribution to AIDS work and even the earnest help she has offered to me and others with similar experiences. I admire her persistence. Who hasn’t considered doing volunteer work, myself included? For the majority, perhaps because they are busy, this thought ends there. Her gift is in persisting for years. I admire her determination as a young woman. She does not use the language of soaring aspirations, but in conversation with her, everything is permeated with firm comprehension of human life.

I have not yet had the opportunity to meet a vigorous and dynamic hero, but in my over thirty years of life I have had the good fortune of meeting all kinds of simple people who gain my admiration. They possess qualities that I did not or do not possess myself. It is because I met them, and derived nutrition from them, that I am who I am today. It is because they exist that I am not too disappointed with today’s society. After my brother disappeared, I had the chance to meet a broader spectrum of people, and more importantly realized the different potentials and merits of these people. Only by relying on the support of their individual strengths have I been able to make it to today…

April 12, 2006

Day 50: Nina thanks everyone for their concern, but there is no further information

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 3:25 am

Writing in the early hours of Wednesday April 12th, which is Day 50 if Hao’s detention, his sister Nina Wu thanks everybody around the world for their concern.  Many of Hao’s friends, especially those in the U.S., have been contacting us in frustration, asking why more isn’t being done to get Hao released. The answer is: everything deemed possible - as determined by the family and their legal counsel - is being done. Things deemed potentially counter-productive are not being done. Reading Nina’s blog post below, it’s clear that she is feeling some pressure from friends of Hao in the U.S. to do more. But how much can she do in the face of a regime that is doing whatever it wants with no respect for its own legal processes? Call in the A-team for a dramatic rescue??!? Nina is acting on the advice of a lawyer in China who is familiar with these kinds of cases and understands what kinds of actions might help Hao, and what kinds of action would be counter-productive. Publicity has been deemed necessary, serving as constant reminder to the regime that the whole world is watching and judging what the Chinese government does to Hao Wu. Beyond that, Nina has not consented to more aggressive political actions. Many people have asked why we haven’t organized a petition or letter-writing campaign. The answer is clear: Nina asked us not to do so at this time. We must respect her wishes. To do otherwise would be to disrespect and possibly hurt Hao. We appeal to Hao’s friends in the U.S. to understand this, and to seek her consent before initiating action on Hao’s behalf in order to avoid doing things that could inadvertently make his situation worse. Here is Nina’s brief, frustrated-sounding blog post:

Today I received phone calls, emails, and greetings from friends one after another.  They were all asking about Haozi, but I disappointed them.  Currently the family members have no further information about Haozi.  Like everyone else, we are impatiently waiting.  Thank you, friends.  For the many ways in which everyone has spontaneously made efforts to help Haozi be free sooner, we sincerely express our gratitude.  Our family feels gratified to know that Hoazi has these kinds of friends.  I believe that the love from family members, friends, and all who know or do not know Haozi will allow him to see the springtime sunlight again soon.

We also continue to read everyone’s comments, and thank everyone for their suggestions.  We have a lawyer, and we have made reports through all the legal channels we can think of.  We are just waiting…  I hope our waiting is worthwhile.

April 11, 2006

Day 48: Still no word on Hao, Nina continues to blog

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 3:45 pm

On April 10th Hao’s sister Nina Wu wrote a new post, Experience:

Friends who have seen me and Haozi say we resemble each other: the same nose, the same eyes, the same lines on our faces when we smile.  Even some of our little motions are exactly the same.  Perhaps we are interlinked.  We both have our own “artistic dreams,” it’s just that the way we pursue them is different.  Haozi likes producing movies and writing, while I am passionately devoted to investment, an art form filled with regret.

When I went to the office to hand over my work, I was extremely disconsolate.  I poured my feelings and energy into this fund like it was my own second child, and I got along with the majority of my coworkers very well, but it had already come to this.  Without more discussion or consideration, I could only temporarily leave my beloved work.  I only hope that someday I can again begin to pursue my own dreams.

After Haozi disappeared, browsing the Internet and searching for related information became a mandatory daily class.  I have googled a great deal of information on “Hao Wu,” but I can’t visit many of the search results, especially addresses with .org suffixes.  Eight or nine out of ten will return “Impossible to display this webpage.”  I don’t know what kind of sensitive information these websites contain.  Before, I did not believe in “Internet censorship.”  This was because I used to visit mostly finance and investment websites, which rarely have problems.  Only when I faced a serious predicament did I discover that this was a real problem.

Today someone asked me about the effect of Haozi’s incident on me and other family members.  I think the most direct effect is that I began to be concerned about my own “rights” and the social problems that Haozi was concerned about.  Searching for Haozi is not just an event in my life, but a much more precious experience to me.

April 9, 2006

Day 46: Nina writes of more pain.

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 3:29 pm

On April 8th Hao’s sister Nina Wu wrote a post called “Painful Recollections.” It was translated by the anonymous author of a new English blog, Nausicaa Smile. We are taking the liberty to reproduce it here:

Lately sleep has not been steady. Halfway through the night, the pit of my stomach twisted in pain, and suddenly I woke up, unable to fall asleep again. Even my usually dreamless husband has lately been dreaming of Haozi sending him short messages, pleading rescue – has something happened tonight? Urban legend has it that brothers and sisters are entertwined in spirit. At this very moment, is my brother also staring at the ceiling, wide-eyed in the darkness? Is he also letting the darkness slowly corrode his organs, sinking into loneliness and despair? By a nameless pain I am oppressed into silence, giving free reign for endless tendrils of thought to float quietly in the black night, and it is not until the faint clearing of the sky that I fall slowly into slumber.

Every day, I walk with my family through Pudong’s bustling districts, watching the brightly-garbed modern Shanghainese men and women beside me, but flashing through my mind are all the bitter, desolate faces and figures I saw before the doorways of government bureaus everywhere. A stubborn old matron who knew better yet still arrived punctually everyday to hand in an appeal form, clutching her walking stick, leg limping; a man who filled in a form while crying rivers of tears – no doubt this strapping hulk of a fellow wouldn’t have cried such precious tears had there not been a colossal grievance; an old, silent uncle who suffered being chased away by the police, yet came back to stauchly stand his ground, writing his woe on the wall; an auntie who chewed on dry steamed buns and, through cracked lips, hoarsely protested the wrong done against her son; a middle-aged man who slapped the table and loudly cursed…my life is filled with inspiring stories, but I know my mind will never be able to erase these painful fragments of memory. My friends can share my body’s burden, I can blog to relieve my feelings, but these people (can one call them the weak and the helpless?) who know not where to seek redress, how shall they cast off their suffering? Who knows if their aggrieved and bitter voices will be lost amidst the din of the bustling cityscape?Lately sleep has not been steady. Halfway through the night, the pit of my stomach twisted in pain, and suddenly I woke up, unable to fall asleep again. Even my usually dreamless husband has lately been dreaming of Haozi sending him short messages, pleading rescue – has something happened tonight? Urban legend has it that brothers and sisters are entertwined in spirit. At this very moment, is my brother also staring at the ceiling, wide-eyed in the darkness? Is he also letting the darkness slowly corrode his organs, sinking into loneliness and despair? By a nameless pain I am oppressed into silence, giving free reign for endless tendrils of thought to float quietly in the black night, and it is not until the faint clearing of the sky that I fall slowly into slumber.

Every day, I walk with my family through Pudong’s bustling districts, watching the brightly-garbed modern Shanghainese men and women beside me, but flashing through my mind are all the bitter, desolate faces and figures I saw before the doorways of government bureaus everywhere. A stubborn old matron who knew better yet still arrived punctually everyday to hand in an appeal form, clutching her walking stick, leg limping; a man who filled in a form while crying rivers of tears – no doubt this strapping hulk of a fellow wouldn’t have cried such precious tears had there not been a colossal grievance; an old, silent uncle who suffered being chased away by the police, yet came back to stauchly stand his ground, writing his woe on the wall; an auntie who chewed on dry steamed buns and, through cracked lips, hoarsely protested the wrong done against her son; a middle-aged man who slapped the table and loudly cursed…my life is filled with inspiring stories, but I know my mind will never be able to erase these painful fragments of memory. My friends can share my body’s burden, I can blog to relieve my feelings, but these people (can one call them the weak and the helpless?) who know not where to seek redress, how shall they cast off their suffering? Who knows if their aggrieved and bitter voices will be lost amidst the din of the bustling cityscape?

Nina’s Chinese blog continues to receive many supportive comments in Chinese and in English.

April 8, 2006

Day 45: Nina blogs about dealing with the police

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 2:19 pm

Time drags on. Hao still hasn’t been charged with any crime. sister Nina writes another post, titled “Differences:”

After returning to Shanghai, when I think about my experiences in Beijing, what floats up most often are the faces of those policemen I interacted with.  Their expressions were distributed between concern and indifference, and the number of different expressions they had was inversely related to their age.  The younger were more likely to feel concern, patiently deal with the questions of a family member, and show sympathy on their faces.  I saw this expression on the face of the young female officer taking notes in the Public Security Bureau Petition Office, and I saw it in a young policeman in the bustling police station.  But the older the officers, the more lightly they dealt with something like this, and the more indifference you could see on their faces.  What causes this difference?  Is it life experience?  Is it getting used to being a part of this system?

Friends also have sharply differing reactions when they hear what happened to Haozi. The consolation offered by Chinese friends, including those who have moved abroad to work, is all like this: “Don’t feel sad.  Wait until your brother gets out.  Urge him to be more careful.  Even if it doesn’t have political characteristics, it’s best not to touch these sorts of things (referring to filming and writing).”  Foreign friends, including those living in China, react like this: “How is that possible?  Isn’t that a violation of human rights?”  It seems they are unable to understand Chinese people’s conciliatory attitudes towards this sort of thing.  Actually, they have grown up in a society that has taught them from youth that they have all kinds of rights.  To them, these so-called rights are a natural thing.  They way I perceive it, Chinese people have taken on a great spiritual burden.  This burden comes from history.  It comes from the misery experienced by our parents’ generation.  Beneath this burden, by putting “forbearance” first, Chinese people give up their own rights.  Actually, without comparison you wouldn’t realize the difference.  Only by having the experience can you understand where the differences are.

Only when everyone realizes this difference will we achieve a common esteem for rights.  The Chinese economy is developing, and rule-of-man is transforming into rule-of-law.  There is no reason to believe that this difference will exist forever, or not grow smaller.  I have always felt thankful to that clearheaded worker at the Procuratorate.  Even if he didn’t offer much direct help in my brother’s case, he allowed me to see that the rule-of-law in the procuratorate system is improving, that there are problems in the public security system, and the direction for improvement in the future.  It’s just that more people need to be concerned about these problems.  Really, reducing this divergence requires the diligence of every person.  I sincerely hope that in the future no other families will suffer this hardship, and that the police will not have such a matter-of-fact and indifferent attitude.

Day 44: Nina describes going home

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 2:50 am

Nina lives in Shanghai, but has been spending a great deal of time recently in Beijing - away from her daughter, husband, and full-time job - in order to pursue her brother’s case. On day 44 of Hao’s detention without charge, she describes going home to Shanghai without answers from the police:

Even though I had already rejected the idea, I still followed advice and made a trip to the National Ministry of Public Security.  By the time I got there yesterday, they were already off work.  Early this morning, when I arrived at Dongtangzi lane, they wouldn’t let me enter.  Just like Beijing’s famous hospitals, you had to take a number.  I came too late.  There were no numbers left.  The comrade at the door could be called kind.  Seeing that I had to catch a flight at noon, he stretched the rules and let me in.  There were five officers in the room.  They interacted with me for as long as it took to fill out the forms.  Before I finished explaining the situation, they told me directly that the work of the National Security group was of a special quality.  The procedure followed in my brother’s case was different from an ordinary criminal case.  Go home and wait.  We will tell the family when there is an outcome.  Right as I began to argue that family members had a right to know the conditions of the suspect and what crimes he was suspected of, another officer entered.  He impatiently told me that many people were waiting behind me, and not to delay their business.  At this point, I could only leave disconsolately.  I wished that my brother’s situation would be handled like the banner in the reception room proclaimed: “Meticulous Implementation.”  I wished that enforcement of the law could return my brother’s innocence and freedom.

While walking out of the lane, it began to rain.  Had the heavens started to be considerate of my feelings, seeing me off for my temporary departure from depressing Beijing?  In the rain, hailstones fell on the taxi, and struck my heart with the pain of acupuncture needles.  The taxi driver was buoyant, and chatted up a storm.  Perhaps he wanted to share his good mood with the melancholy passenger sitting behind him.  All the way to the airport, he didn’t succeed.

When I stepped off the plane, warm sunlight embraced me.  The difference between Shanghai and Beijing in atmosphere and environment is huge.  It suddenly gave me a feeling of unreality.  I was grateful that busily working at the office allowed me to temporarily forget the tragedy hundreds of miles away.

When I came home, my daughter was overjoyed, and impatiently finished her “Mama and girl” drawing on her little blackboard, adding her literary innovation: “Mama, you are just like the ocean hugging a little fish, the moon hugging the stars.”  I held my daughter tightly.  Every moment of happiness is worth cherishing.

In the quiet of the night, I got on the Internet again and visited Liao Liao Yuan [http://spaces.msn.com/zengjinyan/  the blog of Zeng Jinyan, wife of recently released activist Hu Jia].  I found that the misfortunes of life are being played out in other places.  Read the excerpt below (Sorry Jinyan, I violated your copyright.)

On March 11, 2006 at 9 PM, in a village in Linyi, Shandong province, on the 195th day of house arrest, Yuan Weijing and the infant she was clutching were thrown into ditch by the road.  Yuan’s husband, the blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng, was shoved into a police car and driven away.  The child’s grandmother, over seventy years old, was also tossed into the ditch.  The owners of the house that Yuan’s family was temporarily living in, an ordinary farmer and another villager, were also taken by the police.  To this day, Yuan Weijing has not received any information about her husband.  Besides watching as police took him away, she has not received any legal documents or notices from officials, except for a so-called notice of “continuing interrogation.”  Now it is already April 4th.  A new twenty-four days!  Yuan Weijing is also under house arrest.  The infant and the mother holding her are both without freedom.  During these days of imprisonment, their telephone has been cut, and cell phone signal disrupted.  If they go out, they are beaten.  If people visit, they are beaten.  Around thirty people have been hired to watch Chen Guangcheng’s gate on shifts 24 hours a day.  The authorities give each 30-80 RMB in daily “salaries”.  To this day, you can see that they’ve already given out 30 to 40 thousand in salaries, not to mention the invisible “higher authorities” and over one hundred extra police employees!  The most laughable thing is, when Chen’s family was authorized to go to the hill to make an offering to ancestral graves, the higher authorities mobilized over 500 people and ten cars to act as sentries throughout the countryside.   The “people” who pressed nearest to Chen were holding cell phone signal scramblers and apples.  Villagers are outraged.  Citizens are outraged.  But they are all powerless.

My heart, at ease on returning home, became heavy again.