Wednesday 22 November 2017

Father in Chinese abortion row goes into hiding

Malcolm Moore in Beijing

A father whose seven-month-old unborn daughter was forcibly aborted by Chinese officials has gone into hiding after his family were branded as "national traitors" for speaking to the foreign media.

Deng Jiyuan (29) and his wife Feng Jianmei (23) have come under intense pressure from government officials in the past two weeks after a photograph of their dead baby, lying on a plastic sheet next to a distressed Mrs Feng, caused an uproar in China.

Mr Deng has not been seen by his family since Sunday, when he was invited for a "talk" with local government officials. His younger sister, Deng Jicai, said yesterday that he was safe but in hiding.

Three officials have been suspended and are under investigation first for demanding a 40,000 yuan (€5,005) fee from the couple, and then for giving the foetus a lethal injection when the money was not paid.

Traitor

"Since June 14, different people from different levels of government have been involved, all claiming they are investigating the case," said Ms Deng. "Feng Jianmei is still in hospital and they are asking her questions over and over again."

Ms Deng said her brother planned to go to Beijing to find Zhang Kai, a Christian human rights lawyer, but was stopped by several police cars and more than 100 officials.

"He was beaten," said Ms Deng. "Feng Jianmei wanted to go down and see what was going on but she was blocked. They said she was under investigation and could not leave the hospital."

Mr Zhang said Mr Deng had not been seen for two days and that he had been continually followed by agents.

The animosity towards the couple deepened after a German journalist managed to speak briefly to Mr Deng. Subsequently, banners were hung outside the family's house accusing them of betraying China by speaking to the foreign media. "Strike the national traitor! Get out of Zengjiazhen," said one banner. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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