Mao Hengfeng Released From China Prison, but Husband Detained

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 27, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mao Hengfeng Released From China Prison, but Husband Detained

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 27, 2005

Shainghai, China ( — To those monitoring human rights abuses in China, Mao Hengfeng is a household name. Pressured at her job because she had two children, coerced into having an abortion to get her job back, imprisoned in a labor camp, and beaten and tortured, she’s seen all that China’s government does to dissidents.

According to news reports, Mao was recently released from the labor camp on an undisclosed date, but her husband was among more than 100 people recently arrested by Shanghai authorities for protesting evictions from their homes.

Chinese citizens were rounded up on the street, on buses and some in the middle of the night and most of the detainees remain in custody, a report from the watchdog group Human Rights in China (HRIC) said.

The crackdown was organized by the Shanghai Petitions and Letters Office, which is in charge of receiving citizens’ complaints, and the Jing An District Public Security Bureau, local police. HRIC reports the agencies rounded up dissidents like Mao who were the most aggressive in protesting government actions against them.

Detainees who refused to cooperate were beaten; some were told they would be sent to a mental hospital.

Mao’s husband Wu Xiewei was reportedly detained on September 15. He was allowed to return home the next day, but is being held on sixth months’ bail on a charge of “illegal assembly," according to HRIC.

Mao worries her husband will be subjected to the same kind of torture she endured. She has been forced to undergo psychiatric treatment on three occasions, which included electric shock “therapy” many times — a process she describes as "Hell on earth."

The forcible clearance and relocation of residents of Shanghai’s prime commercial districts has become a major source of social unrest.