China Forced Abortion Activist Mao Hengfeng Loses Appeals Court Ruling

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 17, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

China Forced Abortion Activist Mao Hengfeng Loses Appeals Court Ruling Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 17
, 2007

Beijing, China ( — A Chinese woman who has been a victim of and leading protester against the forced abortion policies of China’s one-child population control program has lost an appeal. Mao Hengfeng was given a bogus 30 month sentence in January for "intentionally destroying property."

A Chinese appeals court held only a 10 minute hearing on the appeal, according to the New York-based group Human Rights in China (HRIC).

Neither Mao nor her lawyer were permitted to present any argument or evidence, the group said in a statement obtained.

"The Shanghai Municipal No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court opened a session on April 16 during which the judge read the judgment to affirm the original sentence against Mao Hengfeng," the group indicated.

"After this, the session ended, and when Mao protested the result, she was forcibly removed," HRIC added.

As reported last June, police in Shanghai arrested Mao Hengfeng and other dissidents in advance of the June 4 anniversary of the Tiananmen pro-democracy protests to put down possible demonstrations.

HRIC said Mao had broken two table lamps in a home she was confined to while she was detained for several days.

Normal rules require a fine of 50 yuan ($6.46 US) in compensation for a broken lamp but the prison sentence was based on a claim that the lamps were valued at more than six thousand yuan ($775).

Mao Hengfeng’s husband, Wu Xuwei, and her lawyer Li Boguang had hoped to present evidence with regard to the value of the lamps to demonstrate the disproportionate nature of her sentence.

Li also argued that her first sentence was unjust because Mao’s case was not open to the public and only her family was able to attend her hearing. Li was not able to be with Mao at the first hearing.

"However, Mao’s appeal hearing provided no opportunity to present these issues, and her sentence was affirmed without their consideration," HRIC said.

Mao has been fighting for 15 years for the nation to abolish its one-child policy, which prohibits couples from having a second baby. The policy has resulted in forced abortions and sterilizations, imprisonment, revocation of jobs, fines, and harassment and assault of family members.

For her actions, Mao was forcibly imprisoned in a labor-concentration camp for two years and beaten and tortured while she was there.

Mao became pregnant a second time in the 1980s and was detained in a psychiatric hospital as a result. She was told she could keep her job if she had an abortion. Despite having the abortion, she lost her job anyway and has been a victim of persecution ever since.

HIRC has also condemned the conditions Mao has been subjected to since the June 2006 arrest saying she is being held in a small cell where urine and excrement cover the floor. Guards covered the small window and Mao has been unable to sleep.

"Since her trial, the condition in which Mao is being held is unclear," the group said.

The group called for Chinese authorities to give her a full and fair trial and to uphold her basic human rights.

Chinese authorities routinely crackdown on anti-government dissidents in advance of possible pro-democracy protests and the June 4 anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacres is particularly sensitive.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of Chinese people were killed in the incident.