Wife of Jailed Dissident Who Stood up For Uyghurs Calls For His Release

Sandra Loyd

Issues are growing for jailed Xinjiang dissident Zhang Haitao, who has actually just been permitted 3 family gos to in the past 5 years of his sentence at a jail in the northwestern area of Xinjiang.

Zhang, an outspoken critic of the judgment Chinese Communist Party’s treatment of the mainly Muslim Uyghur ethnic group, is serving a 19- year prison term at Xinjiang’s Shaya Jail for “incitement to subvert state power” and spying charges.

Zhang’s wife Li Aijie ran away China with her boy after being targeted for dangers by regional authorities after Zhang was sentenced by the Intermediate People’s Court in Urumqi, local capital of the northwestern area of Xinjiang, on Jan. 15, 2016.

Li informed RFA on Wednesday that no one in the family has actually had any news of Zhang because their last check out in April 2018.

“Zhang Haitao was detained on Dec. 2, 2016. He was sent to Shaya prison in Xinjiang. His last visit was from his sister on April 26, 2018,” Li stated.

“Family members haven’t been allowed by the Chinese government to meet with him for two years and three months,” she stated.

“I call on the Chinese government to release Zhang Haitao immediately,” she stated. “He is innocent, and our son misses his father very much.”

“He asks me every day when his father will be allowed to come home,” Li stated.

Zhang’s sibling stated jail guards had actually called an instant stop to her last conference with him on April 26, 2018 when they heard her informing him that his wife and boy were now securely in the United States.

“Before the visit, the prison guards called us to the office and told us that we wouldn’t be allowed to discuss his wife and child’s departure for the U.S., nor anything to do with religion,” she stated.

“About 30 minutes into the visit, we told him about his wife and child, and the meeting was terminated immediately,” she stated.

Kept in seclusion, denied of workout

Zhang’s sibling stated he was being kept in holding cell without any workout in the open air.

“He said he was alone, and I asked if he was allowed to go outside for exercise, but he said there was a door which had been sealed off,” she stated.

She stated the authorities had actually declined to enable her to go to once again, in spite of regular telephone demands.

“They told me it was on orders from higher up,” she stated. “Later on, nobody even picked up.”

Repetitive calls to Shaya Jail sounded unanswered throughout office hours on Wednesday.

At Zhang’s trial, the prosecution mentioned 69 posts to the Chinese social media platform WeChat and 205 Twitter reweets and posts, as proof of prompting subversion of state power.

Li, who brought to life the couple’s boy quickly after he was jailed, and was entrusted no earnings, was depending on loved ones for financial assistance, she informed RFA at the time.

However ChinaAid, which assisted to arrange her escape from China, stated she had actually dealt with abuse within her family in addition to dangers from authorities.

Zhang, 46, was at first apprehended on June 26, 2015 on suspicion of “picking quarrels and stirring up trouble,” however the charges versus him were later on altered to the more major charges of subversion and spying. Due to the fact that Zhang had “colluded” with overseas companies,

The court stated it had actually handed down a longer prison term.

Reported by Qiao Wish for RFA’s Mandarin Service. Equated and modified by Luisetta Mudie.

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