11/07/2012, 00.00
CHINA
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Mao Hengfeng, given hard labour again for challenging one child law

The dissident, one of the most famous in the country, was sentenced to 18 months of "re-education through labour". Her husband denounces: "she disappeared on 20 September and I just got news of her now". The sentence issued on the sidelines of the Communist Congress, ready to elect the new leadership.

Beijing (AsiaNews) -Beijing police have arrested and sentenced Mao Hengfeng to hard labour for the third time, one of the "champions" of the battle against the one child law and forced abortions in China. Her husband Wu Xuewei has denounced this latest arrest and reports that the woman was kidnapped by public security agents last Sept. 20 in the capital, where she had gone to seek justice for abuses suffered during her second imprisonment. The activist was reduced to a wheelchair as a result of police violence.

After this long period of detention, last week the authorities sentenced her to 18 months of "re-education through labour" for having "disturbed social order". The judgment was pronounced against the opening of the 18th Communist Party Congress, which opens tomorrow and is preparing to crown the "fifth generation" of Communist leaders.

Wu received notification but believes his wife innocence: "she is not guilty and has never violated any law. They fabricated allegations and evidence to imprison innocent people ". At the moment, her place of detention is unknown: she served her last sentence in the detention centre of Yangpu district, near Shanghai, where the couple lives.

Mao Hengfeng is one of the country's best-known dissidents. For years The woman has campaigned against the one-child law, when since 1988, she was fired from job at a Soap factory after she became pregnant for the second time and refused to have an abortion, in contravention of the general prohibition on having more than one child.

In March 2010 she was sentenced to 18 months of re-education-through-labour, without a trial and without defence, for "disturbance of social order": December 25, 2009 she had shouted protest slogans against the trial of Liu Xiaobo in front of the intermediate people's Court No. 1 in Beijing.

February 22, 2011 she was released over her poor medical condition, but was arrested again after two days on suspicion of having committed unspecified "illegal activities". Wu complained that in two days they were under constant police control and the wife went out only once to go to dinner with friends the night of her release.

China, which is preparing for the new Communist Government, is still debating the birth control law, opposed by virtually the entire population. A foundation close to the Government has presented a paper to the Congress (see here) calling for the abolition of the law.

 

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