Sichuan Rights Activist Allowed Video Call With Dying Mother
The terminally ill mother of jailed rights activist Huang Qi has been allowed a video call with her son after months of petitioning prison authorities in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan.
Huang’s mother Pu Wenqing — a medical doctor — told RFA on Friday that her request was granted as she nears the end of her life.
Pu made a 30-minute video call with Huang, who is serving a 12-year jail term on “spying” charges at Sichuan’s Bazhong Prison on Thursday.
“It was basically about his medical condition,” Pu said of the conversation.
“He showed me his hands, and I asked if his feet were swollen, and he said yes, they were,” Pu told RFA. “I am pretty deaf now, so he had to say it again.
“I told him the swelling could be the result of low protein in his diet, and told him he should eat at least one egg a day,” she said. “He told me the prison had allocated him two eggs a week.”
“Our time was up before we had finished talking,” Pu added.
Pu said she has asked Huang to video call with her every month.
“I don’t know whether he will be able to do this,” she said. “I heard that Huang Qi’s lawyers aren’t allowed to visit right now because of the pandemic.”
Wang Jing, a friend of the family, said Pu had felt rushed during the video.
“They only talked about Huang Qi’s current condition really,” Wang said. “[Huang said he is taking] three different medications for his stomach, for the kidney disease, and for high blood pressure.”
Online journalist Yang Xiuqiong, who was a co-defendant in Huang’s case, said the video call had only come after a wait of four years.
“[We] have waited too long for this day,” Yang said. “His mother should tell everyone about Huang Qi’s situation in prison.”
‘Miscarriage of justice’
A court in the southwestern province of Sichuan handed down a 12-year jail term to Huang, a veteran rights activist and founder of the Tianwang rights website, on July 29, 2019.
Huang was sentenced by the Mianyang Intermediate People’s Court to 12 years’ imprisonment, after it found him guilty of “leaking state secrets overseas.”
Huang’s lawyers and Pu have said all along that the case against Huang was a miscarriage of justice, even allowing for the traditionally harsh treatment of dissidents in China.
Huang, 57, has been identified by Paris-based press freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) as one of 10 citizen journalists in danger of dying in detention.
He has repeatedly denied the charges made against him and has refused to “confess.”
Huang Qi ran a website that focused on situations where ordinary people were abused and even crushed by the CCP.
He is a fair and decent man and provided a genuine service.
People like him have been picked off one by one by the CCP and sentenced to long prison terms, all over China.
Even those who helped his mother petition officials about Huang’s lack of medical care are endangered by the predatory CCP:
Beijing Activist Faces Indictment. The Crime Appears to Be Helping the Aged Mother of Dissident Huang Qi
October 31, 2019
“I’m not a Communist Party member.”
Zhang Baocheng (张宝成) is a 60-year-old Beijing resident, a dissident and human rights activist. Last October, when the 85-year-old mother of renowned Sichuan activist Huang Qi arrived in Beijing to petition for the release of her son, Zhang Baocheng housed her for over a month. He accompanied her as her “bodyguard” on visits to different state organs to submit her petition, and also took her sightseeing. He called her “Mother Huang” (黄妈妈) and posted photos on Twitter. Some of the videos of “Mother Huang” making appeals, such as this one, might have been filmed by him. Beijing police called him in several times warning him of consequences for his actions. Now we know what the “consequences” are.
On May 27 of this year, he was arrested and his home raided, including cellphones. He was initially charged with “possessing guns” but by now we know no “guns” were involved. He had been denied access to lawyers until recently. According to the two lawyers who met him in Beijing First Detention Center, his case has been handed to Beijing Second Procuratorate for indictment, and he is charged with “picking quarrels” and “promoting terrorism, extremism, and inciting terrorist activities.”
But the interrogations, according to the lawyers, centered on details of him helping Huang Qi’s mother as well as his Twitter expressions.
RSF and NGO coalition call on Chinese President Xi Jinping to pardon journalist at risk of dying in prison
July 23, 2020
Mr. Xi Jinping
People’s Republic of China
The State Council General Office
2 Fuyoujie, Xichengqu
Paris, July 22nd, 2020
As a collective of non-governmental organizations defending human rights and freedom of the press, we urge you to pardon journalist Huang Qi, two-time laureate of the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Award (RSF), who is suffering from a critical health condition and may die soon if he remains in detention.
Huang Qi is a seasoned journalist who has done remarkable work in informing the public about corruption cases and human rights violations, in accordance with the principle of press freedom enshrined in Article 35 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China.
On July 29th, 2019, Huang Qi was sentenced by the Mianyang Intermediate People’s Court in Sichuan Province to 12 years in prison for “leaking state secrets” and “providing state secrets abroad”following a closed trial that failed to demonstrate his culpability.
This harsh and unfair punishment equals a death sentence, considering that Huang Qi suffers from critical liver and kidney diseases. On December 20, 2018, in a statement published by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, four experts insisted that his condition would “continue to deteriorate to a fatal point” if not released.
Of course, Xi Jinping was uninterested.