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.

April 6, 2006

Day 43: Rights in China: Guilty until proven innocent?

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 2:33 pm

On Day 43 of Hao Wu’s detention without charge, his sister Nina wrote a blog post titled “Rights“:

Now, every time I see police officers, especially plainclothes officers, I tremble. I uncontrollably tremble. I know this doesn’t come from fright. Rather it gradually developed into a purely physiological phenomenon. In other countries, without conclusive evidence that a suspect is guilty, the suspect is treated as “innocent.” In China, in the “People’s Republic of China Code of Criminal Procedure,” in Section 1: General Principles, Chapter 1: Duties and Basic Principles, clause twelve states: “Without a verdict from the People’s Court, no person can be determined guilty.” It clearly affirms that without a court verdict, all people should legally have the status of “not guilty.” But, in reality, this is not the case. When you go to the police station, the answer is always, “If nothing was wrong with your brother, would the police be following him?” The thoughts of the police inspector gathering evidence are fixed on the issue of committing a crime. The questions he asks my brother’s friends all require imagination. He even told me directly that my brother had committed a crime, but he could not explain why. The officer I asked repeatedly at the Public Security Bureau Petition Office also told me directly that my brother had committed a crime, but could not explain what crime he was suspected of… Ah. Once the police take notice, the suspect has already been labeled “guilty.” The relatives can only passively wait, and cannot assert their right to know the facts of the case.

All these thoughts originated from a comment from my brother’s classmate after hearing what had happened to him:

“I was your brother’s classmate at the University of Science and Technology. We haven’t been in touch for fourteen years, but I remember your brother’s lively and optimistic personality!

Today, by chance I read on the Internet that he had been arrested. I was shocked. I also finally learned about his lifestyle and thinking these last few years. I am very proud to have that kind of friend.

As a Chinese person, I am also grieved that our country is still unable to guarantee the basic legal rights of its citizens!

Every time the west discusses freedom of speech, I always think they’re being meddlesome. Today I finally have a personal understanding; if a country cannot guarantee the basic rights of its citizens, it concerns each and every one of us!

This is the country of us, the Chinese people. These are our legal rights. We need to strive for them ourselves!

I hope your family can realize that Hao Wu’s arrest, and failure to receive normal trial procedure and legal defense is not an injustice for him alone. Many conscientious, just-minded Chinese people also deeply feel this injustice. We support the efforts of you and your family, and extend our respect!”

I never thought that something like this would happen in my own family because we are too ordinary. Exactly because we are ordinary, the shock and pain was even greater. It was even harder to believe. I believe that Haozi’s friends feel the same way. Here is another passage from an email.

“Over the past 4 years that I know Hao, he is always a very non-political person. He is just an artist in his heart. This is what make the news particularly shocking!”

In fact, before this happened to my brother, I felt that I had it all: family, friends, a job I liked, and a typical Shanghai “little capitalist” life. I felt that I had the ability to control everything. I could choose the lifestyle I wanted; I could choose my circle of friends…in fact this was just what it looked like. It is so easy for someone to lose his or her privileges. An ordinary person can very easily be taken from his or her daily life. It doesn’t require any warning or reason, and of course it doesn’t require the assent of that person. Legal help is also unavailable. Even though the thirty-sixth clause of the Constitution states, “The physical freedom of the citizens of the People’s Republic of China cannot be violated…it is forbidden to detain or use other methods to take away or limit the physical freedom of a citizen; it is forbidden to illegally search the body of a citizen,” my brother has already lost his freedom. The staff of the Procuratorate did not deny that laws were being broken in the current stage, but no organization or person has stopped these illegal phenomena from continuing.

Really, only when your own rights are violated do you realize their importance to you. I am now beginning to pay attention to law, beginning to look for rights I might have. I hope that it isn’t all too late.

At the same time, I know that I already have lost my right to privacy. I know that they know my every movement. Actually, when you act magnanimously, there is nothing to conceal. I haven’t done anything that I’d be ashamed to show others. I will continue to strive for my brother’s early release. It’s just that I don’t know: when all the legal channels have been exhausted, will anything be left?

April 5, 2006

Nina on day 42: The City Government Petition Office & Pain

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 5:48 pm

On April 4th Nina wrote this anguished post:

Yesterday afternoon, I went to the Beijing Petition Office clutching my last strand of hope.  On arriving I was startled by the number of police cars parked at the gate.  Were there normally so many police there for protection?  Were they afraid of someone causing trouble?  The petition office was much noisier than the Public Security Bureau.  Most of the people were white-haired elderly women.  When I was almost to the front of the line, a few bright-eyed and strapping men, whispering to each other, suddenly appeared in the main hall.  Their arrival was clearly incompatible with the atmosphere of the hall.  Before I had finished explaining the situation, the petition receptionist told me that the Beijing Public Security Bureau was a specialized organization, and the Beijing city government could not exercise supervision over it.  In reply, I told her that my brother lived in Beijing, and was taken away by Beijing police, why couldn’t they exercise supervision over this?  The receptionist helplessly answered that the Beijing Public Security Bureau is under the direct jurisdiction of higher authorities.  Did this mean that the city government did not even have the right of inquiry regarding its actions?  Under duress from me, she gave me a suggestion: report the situation to the Procuratorate [the prosecutor’s office].  The Procuratorate should be able to supervise the Public Security Bureau.  It appears that the petition offices of all government organs only serve as windows.  None of them can solve real problems.  They can’t even accept materials.  Looking at the two sparse lines of characters on their petition registration form, and the employee next to it typing at a computer, my heart was overcome with despair. In the end, would this all just become a record in some computer?

When I sat down in a chair to rest and let my mood re-balance, that group of strong men gradually dissolved.  The final “suit” left after observing me for a long time.  When I was preparing to go back to the window and ask for more advice, I was held up by the never-ending moral reasoning of a forty year-old gentleman nearly unable to support himself.  I noticed that the group of men had returned to the main hall.  More employees joined them, one after another, from the offices and outside.  Was this big posture just for that agitated unemployed worker?  Was something else important happening today?  Before I sorted out the situation, a phone call from an old classmate forced me to leave the clamorous petition hall.  Goodness!  Besides a row of police cars outside the entrance, there was a bus too.  While talking on the phone, those middle-aged, strong men that had appeared in the main hall successively passed by me, looking me over, and getting on and off the bus.  It seemed like continuing to stay there wasn’t going to help anything, and my nerves were getting more and more frayed.  After weighing the options, I resolutely left that noisy, hopeless place.

Yesterday was an especially chaotic and overwhelming day.  All kinds of information were coming out, different voices were speaking in my ear, and I had to evaluate them and make decisions.  Time was not giving me much room to maneuver.  My taut nerves were constantly taking on new burdens.  At the end, I started to suspect that a feather would be enough to snap them, and make me break down.  While eating dinner, I couldn’t help but tell my friends: I am so scared!  I am scared that any decision I make might cause irrevocable losses for my brother.  In fact, living with the thoughts of an ordinary person is happy.  Living as a thinker implies that you will fall constantly deeper into the suffering of thought.  My brother is not as he appears from the outside, often sunny and strong.  He has a sensitive, sentimental heart.  When he observes and thinks about social problems, his body is affected by his feelings, and he feels the pain of those involved.  Because of our blood relation, I can feel his pain and suffering, but am unable to help.  The two times I have cried hardest in my life were for my brother.  He has already become a permanent kind of anguish in my heart.  Sometimes, I wish that he were not so outstanding, that he could be more ordinary.  Then he could enjoy the happiness of an ordinary person.  But my brother is my brother.  I can only feel proud of him through my anguish.

It’s already very late.  I have a splitting headache, and no more energy to type.  I can only put yesterday’s diary down for today.  Today is still a sunny day.  Besides some appointments made a while ago, what I was planning for did not happen.  That’s good news, right?  I am accustomed to being busy.  I don’t know what to do when it’s calm.  I sincerely hope that the last two weeks has an early settlement.  I am already nearly unable to bear the weight of this life, especially taking responsibility for my brother’s life.

Further note from Day 41: More about Hao

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 1:45 am

Nina’s final post for the day on April 3rd reflects the anxiety and terrible stress of not knowing what the authorities have done with your brother or why:

Supplement

Yesterday my husband in Shanghai got sick. This morning I also awoke with a splitting headache. Could we have both caught the flu? Perhaps it’s that the problem with my brother has left us mentally and physically exhausted.

Friends are consistently calling and writing emails to offer their help. I now have some regret about keeping a low profile earlier. Things might have been different if everyone had known about this earlier and been able to help us then.

Since questions friends have started to ask all center on “What happened to Haozi?” I will repost the Chinese translation by a kindhearted friend from an English website. I hope it is helpful. After my call from Haozi on March 16, I have not received any phone calls or messages from him. This is one reason we are extremely anxious now.

The rest of the post is the Chinese version of our original post: About Hao Wu’s Case.

April 4, 2006

Supervisory Office of the Beijing Public Security Bureau

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 6:59 pm

On the same day as the previous entry posted below, Nina Wu also wrote:

Supervisory Office of the Beijing Public Security Bureau:

Regarding the Beijing public security organ’s initiation of an investigation into Hao Wu (male, born April 1972, profession: “documentary filmmaker”, residing in this city, Chaoyang district XXXX garden XXXX) for suspected violation of the law (the alleged crime is as yet unknown) on procedural problems in the handling of the case by the organs responsible, Beijing XXXX Law Firm reports as follows:

On February 22, 2006 Hao Wu was taken away by policemen of this bureau.  Wu’s relatives submitted written objections to this bureau and his local Chaoyang Branch PSB on March 18, asking for a reply about Wu’s alleged crimes and his current condition.  They did not receive a reply.  On March 20, Wu’s relatives inquired at the Beijing PSB.  They only received the reply that Wu had been detained, but were still not informed of his alleged crimes or the location of his detention.

Under these conditions, Hao Wu’s sister Na Wu sought legal assistance from the Beijing XXXX Law Firm.  Our firm accepted her request, and according to law assigned two lawyers to the investigation stage for the detained and suspected Hao Wu, providing him with legal assistance.  However, due to their inability to ascertain Wu’s alleged crime, the organ handling the case, and the location of Wu’s detention, our firm submitted a letter on March 21 to the Legal Office of the Beijing PSB, requesting assistance in making contact, at the same time submitting requests to meet the detained suspect and initiating the [legal representative] retention procedure.  We hoped to urge the relevant organs in this case to promptly set a time to meet the suspect.  Afterwards, a media outlet reported that this case was being handled by the Beijing PSB National Security Unit.  However, our firm has yet to receive any reply from the Beijing PSB.

On March 29, Hao Wu’s sister Na Wu again visited the petition bureau of the Beijing PSB.  She inquired into the crime that Hao Wu was suspected of, the organ handling the case, and the location of his detention, but was again denied the information.

We believe: the procedures followed in this case are contrary to regulations in the “Code of Criminal Procedure.”  They also do not adhere to the “Regulations on Lawyer’s Visits to Suspects in Detention and Related Issues of the Defendant”(trial version) co-issued by the Beijing Supreme People’s Court, Beijing People’s Procuratorate, Beijing PSB, Beijing State Security Bureau, and Beijing Administration of Justice, as well as the “Bulletin on Further Safeguarding the Professional Rights of Lawyers” and “Thirty Measures on the Standards of Civilized Law Enforcement” of the Beijing PSB.

1. According to regulations in the “Code of Criminal Procedure”, suspects can retain a lawyer to provide legal assistance, offer representation for appeals, and make complaints after the first interrogation by the investigative agency or on the same day that coercive measures are first taken.  The lawyers retained have the right to learn the suspected crime from the organ responsible.  They can meet with the suspect in detention, and learn relevant details from the suspect.

2.  According to regulations in the “Code of Criminal Procedure,” the investigating organ can criminally detain someone for a maximum of 30 days before requesting for approval to make an arrest.  However, in this case, coercive measures have been employed to limit Hao Wu’s physical freedom for over 37 days.

3.  According to relevant Beijing city regulations, in the investigative stage, “In cases that do not involve state secrets, the organ handling the case should issue an official letter about meeting with the lawyer and arrange for the meeting within 48 hours of a request to meet with the suspect.”

4.  Even if lawyers cannot learn of the crimes of which Hao Wu is suspected, during the investigation stage, even in cases involving state secrets, the organ handling the case, “If not permitting a meeting, should provide the lawyers with a “Notice on Not Permitting a Meeting With Suspect in Detention” and explain its reasons.”

In view of the above, according to relevant regulations, we report this to the Supervisory Office of this bureau, and request 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.

Sincerely,

Beijing XXXX Law Firm

March 31, 2006

cc: Beijing Lawyer Association Committee on Safeguarding Rights and Interests