Beijing (AsiaNews) - The father of a pro-democracy dissident died seeking protection at Qufu Procuratorate in Shandong.
Fushun Xue, who was also involved in defending human rights in China, allegedly "committed suicide by jumping to his death" from the fourth floor of the prosecutor's building, where he had fled to escape unlawful detention and the persecution of his family.
Police tried to cover up the case, but his wife and son want the truth, backed by a new group of dissidents who wrote an open letter slamming a "pattern of abuse" of human rights.
Xue Mingkai is Xue Fushun's son. The 24-year-old human rights activist (pictured here dressed as a policeman during a protest) is a member of the China Democracy Party.
The young man was jailed four years in prison for "subversion of state power" (first conviction in 2010) and "inciting subversion of state power" (second conviction in 2012). After serving the latter, he was released on 15 September 2013.
Currently, he lives in Zhengzhou, Henan province (which borders to the north with Shandong).
According to Human Rights in China (HRIC), on 23 January police detained his parents, Fushun Xue and Wang Shuqing, in Qufu, and placed them in a guesthouse, one of the 'black jails' used by the Chinese government, in order to force their son Xue Mingkai to come home. Here, the two were beaten.
On January 29, Xue and Wang managed to escape and take refuge at the Qufu Municipal Procuratorate, Shandong Province, seeking protection, but security agents caught up with them.
After they were separated, Wang was taken to a guesthouse. That same evening, two days before the Lunar New Year, police inform her that her husband had "committed suicide".
Although she was still held at a government guesthouse, she managed to call a friend on 31 January to describe what police did.
According to Wang, police tried to perform a post-mortem on her husband immediately after his death and then tried to cremate his body to "destroy evidence" of murder. For their son, his death was akin to premeditated execution. Now the two want an independent forensics specialist from outside of Shandong to examine Xue's remains (it is still not clear whether he was cremated or not).
Civil Rights Concern Group, a group of about 30 dissidents set up after the recent conviction of Xu Zhiyong, founder of the New Citizens, want the same thing.
In a statement, posted online for further signatures, the group said, "Xue Fushun's death is not an isolated incident but [a result] of the ills of the stability maintenance system, which includes a complex array of laws and state agencies," now under the direct control of President Xi Jinping.
"Dissidents," the statement went on to say, "are in fact not protected by the law while stability maintenance departments can violate their human and civil rights at will, even going as far as persecuting their family members."
"Such atrocities have been spreading for a long time and [have] led to many tragedies, of which Xue Fushun's death is the latest. If we do not put a stop to unlawful means of maintaining stability, characterized by human rights violations, damage to the legal system, and destruction of the country's normal order, these tragedies will continue to repeat themselves."