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
“misunderstandings.”

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.

Reporters Without Borders condemns “state abduction” of Hao

Filed under: News — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 8:36 am

The following was posted April 26th at the Reporters Without Borders website:

After two months without news, authorites accused of “kidnapping” blogger

Reporters Without Borders today said it considered Chinese blogger Hao Wu to be the victim of state abduction as more than two months have gone by since his arrest without his family getting any news about him. His lawyer has not been allowed to see him, but has been told his client is now in a state security “guesthouse”.

“This case shows the Chinese security services operate without any control by the courts,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Hao is the victim of an arbitrary system that interprets the law as it sees fit. We call on European and American diplomats to raised his case at their meetings with the Chinese authorities. We are curious know how they will justify the Public Security Bureau’s procedures.”

In a message posted on her blog (http://spaces.msn.com/wuhaofamily/blog/), Hao’s sister, Na Wu, said she had hired a lawyer who asked three questions during an interview with the Public Security Bureau on 21 April: why his client is being held longer than allowed by the law, why the authorities refuse to inform his client’s family, and why they refuse to let him see his client, which they should have done within the first 48 hours of his arrest.

The Public Security Bureau replied that these were just “misunderstandings.” Hao was no longer in detention, he was under “house arrest,” the bureau said. At the same time, the case was “classified,” which explained why no information had been given about the charges against Hao and where he was being held. Finally, neither Hao’s family or his lawyer had been allowed to see him because they had not formally requested it, the bureau added.

Na said she has never been directly notified about her brother’s arrest. The classified nature of the arrest is completely new and has never previously been mentioned by the bureau. The comments of Hao’s lawyer are also posted on her blog. He said Hao should have been placed under “house arrest” no more than 30 days after his arrest. Calling the case “classified” was just a pretext for not disclosing the charges against Hao, he added.

Na finished her latest message with the follow comments: “If you have already visited my blog and are already aware of the efforts we have undertaken since his arrest, you will understand how unconvincing the Public Security Bureau’s explanations and excuses are.” In a phone with Reporters Without Borders, she added: “The police have made it clear to me that they are aware of everything I have said and done.”

Hao has a blog called Beijing or Bust in which he writes under the pseudonym of Beijing Loafer. He is also the North-East Asia editor of the website Global Voices, to which he contributes under name of Tian Yi. He was arrested on 22 February while preparing a report on China’s underground protestant churches.

Global Voices has set up a Hao support site: http://ethanzuckerman.com/haowu

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 spaces.msn.com, 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 spaces.msn.com/wuhaofamily, 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 spaces.msn.com…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.

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?