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Imprisoned Labor Leader’s Wife and Daughter Petition Beijing

March 3, 2006

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that the wife of and daughter of imprisoned labor activist Yao Fuxin have gone to Beijing to petition delegates of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) on during their annual sessions. Yao is in poor health, and his family is appealing for him to be released on medical parole.

Sources in China told HRIC that Yao’s wife, Guo Sujing, and daughter, Yao Dan, went to Beijing on March 1 and 3 respectively to inform NPC delegates about Yao’s deteriorating health and to request their assistance in obtaining medical parole. Sources say the women traveled separately from Liaoyang, knowing that security measures have been tightened in Beijing around the annual sessions. However, Yao Dan has been unable to reach her mother since arriving in the capital, and lawyer Mo Shaoping and other friends have also heard nothing from her. Yao Dan worries that police may have detained her mother and escorted her back to Liaoyang.

Yao Fuxin was sentenced to seven years in prison on May 9, 2003 for his participation in demonstrations by tens of thousands of workers in March 2002, protesting alleged corruption and other abuses in the management of the bankrupt Liaoyang Ferro-Alloy Factory. Yao has suffered from a variety of ailments in prison, including a heart condition that required 20 days of hospitalization last August. Guo Sujing has requested medical parole for her husband on many previous occasions, but has received no response. Legal appeals by Yao’s lawyer, Mo Shaoping, have also failed.

Another labor activist, Xiao Yunliang, who was sentenced to four years in prison along with Yao, was released on February 23, more than 20 days before the completion of his sentence. He remains under close residential surveillance in his home.

HRIC is very concerned about Guo Xiujing’s disappearance, given widespread reports of detentions in Beijing and elsewhere on the eve of the NPC session. In light of Yao Fuxin’s ongoing medical condition, HRIC also supports his family’s demands for his medical parole.