The family of a woman who was victimized by a shocking forced abortion at seven months of pregnancy now faces harassment and potential violence.
As LifeNews reported, Chinese officials apologized to a woman who was forced to undergo an abortion at seven months of pregnancy and reportedly suspended three family planning officials after gruesome photos of the mother and her dead unborn baby went viral on the Internet. Now, human rights campaigners say the woman and her family face more persecution.
Kat Lewis of the Chinese human rights watchdog All Girls Allowed, informed LifeNews late Monday that friends of the woman, Feng Jianmei, told her that local officials have drastically changed their tone following the apology.
“They ran her husband, Deng Jiyuan, out of the village and we haven’t yet been able to reach him. They’ve also labeled Ms. Feng a “traitor,” and posted signs outside her home in warning,” Lewis explained. “In the photo right, some men in the village are carrying banners that urge others to “beat the traitor mercilessly” and ‘drive them out of the village.”
“Sometimes it’s hard to believe this is happening—and just as hard to believe that officials have largely succeeded in keeping it quiet,” she said.
That may be changing as AP, the London Guardian and others are beginning to report on the situation. From the British newspaper:
Relatives say they have been followed for days, and Feng’s hospital was targeted this weekend by protesters carrying banners, one of which read: “Beat the traitors and expel them.”
Feng’s husband, Deng Jiyuan, has not been seen for two days. His sister Deng Jicai told the Guardian he rang on Tuesday afternoon to say that he was safe, but she did not know his whereabouts.
“The whole family feels very depressed and pressured,” she said. “The government have sent a team to investigate and don’t have a result yet, but right now we want freedom before the investigation results come out.
“Three or four guys are following me. I don’t know who they are.”
Earlier, she told the South China Morning Post the protesters at the hospital this weekend had “shouted and shouted, saying we were ungrateful and traitors since the government had promised to solve this matter but we still talked to foreign media … My cousin, who took pictures of them, was injured, with bruises and scratches all over his body.”
Zhang Kai, a lawyer who has been advising the family, added: “It is impossible the villagers made the banner about Deng Jicai. It must have been orchestrated by local officials.”
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He said that higher levels of government had handled the matter correctly by launching an investigation but noted: “Things seem to be getting worse for the family, as some local officials have to take responsibility for this incident, and it will be criminal responsibility. They are panicking.”
The newspaper said a spokesman for Shaanxi provincial government denied the family is facing any harassment and questioned the reporter on how that information was obtained.