Fears mount Beijng forced disappearance of activist Tang Jitian

He has not been heard from since 10 December, World Human Rights Day. He was due to attend an event at the EU embassy. He has long been persecuted by the regime, which prevents him from reaching his sick daughter in Japan. Human rights lawyer Guo Feixiong is in a similar situation.



Beijing (AsiaNews) - A well-known Chinese human rights lawyer has been missing for days. Radio Free Asia reports the authorities arrested Tang Jitian on 10th December, when he was due to attend a meeting for World Human Rights Day organised by the European Union representation in the Chinese capital.

Teng Biao, a Chinese academic repatriated to the US, said that communication with Tang broke down two hours before the start of the event, when he sent messages to friends explaining that it was not safe to attend.

According to Rfa sources, Tang was in a precarious physical and mental state before his disappearance. He was suffering because the authorities prevented him from joining his 24-year-old daughter in Japan, who is in a coma due to complications from tuberculosis.

The activist has long been persecuted by the Chinese regime, which took away his licence to practice law in 2010. He is guilty of defending the followers of China's banned Falun Gong spiritual movement and has been tortured for his humanitarian work. Tang is now sick with leukaemia, has no job or home and cannot leave China.

His situation is similar to that of another activist, Guo Feixiong, who disappeared on 28 January, shortly after Shanghai airport security prevented him from boarding a plane to the USA. He wanted to join his wife, who was suffering from cancer. In protest against the travel ban, he went on hunger strike.

Guo is accused of endangering national security; he has been fighting for human rights in China since the Tiananmen protests in 1989, when the regime massacred thousands of students demanding freedom and democracy.