Teng Biao - who has defended Aids activists, Falun Gong
practitioners and farmers fighting for their land - was kidnapped on 6 March and was
illegally detained for 2 days before he was released without
charge. Teng Biao was last seen in the
evening, being bundled into a black car outside his home in Beijing.
According to his wife, Wang
Ling, Teng left home at 8.25pm on Thursday saying he would be back in 20
minutes. About half an hour later, she heard shouting downstairs. Eyewitnesses
reported seeing the lawyer being dragged away in front of his apartment
by unknown figures as he got out of his car, HRIC said.
During his detention, the police threatened to arrest him and to have
him dismissed from his position at the university if he did not stop
raising Hu Jia’s case, writing about the Olympics, and accepting interviews
from foreign journalists.
Shortly before he went
missing, Teng told the Guardian that his passport had been seized, his
phone bugged and his emails check by the authorities. He was warned that
he also faced the sack from his job as a lecturer at the China University
of Political Science and Law and risked detention. He had been recently
warned by police that he would be detained unless he stopped talking to
the foreign media and writing about human rights abuses in the run up to
Teng is a legal
scholar and a good friend of Hu Jia, a
Beijing-based HIV/AIDS activist, co-founder and former director of the Beijing
Aizhixing Institute for Health Education, a grassroots organisation that
aims at educating the public about HIV/AIDS and at advocating for the
rights of persons suffering from AIDS. He co-authored an open
letter criticizing human rights
violations in an essay called, "The real China and the Olympic Games
2008." He has also been active in
advocating for Hu since he was arrested.
Other rights lawyers have
been allegedly harassed by police in recent days, including Li Heping,
whose car was rammed on Friday by a group of unidentified men who had
been following him since Hu Jia's arrest, Li told AFP.
The incidents come after
rights lawyers and legal advisers such as Chen Guangcheng, Gao Zhisheng
and Yang Maodong were arrested, jailed or placed under house arrest for
activities aimed at protecting the rights of ordinary citizens.
On December 27, 2007, about
20 policemen came to Mr. Hu Jia’s home, surrounded his wife and child as
well as his wife’s grandmother, who was visiting, cut off the telephone
line and internet connection, confiscated their mobile phones and then
took Mr. Hu Jia away, on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state
power”. Several policemen remained at their home, keeping Mr. Hu Jia’s
wife from publicly denouncing his detention.
On January 28, 2008, Mr. Hu
Jia was charged with “inciting subversion of state power” by the Beijing
Municipal PSB. He is currently detained at the Beijing Municipal
Detention Centre at Dougezhuang.
Since his arrest, the Beijing
PSB has denied repeated requests by Mr. Hu’s lawyers to visit him, citing
that the case was involving “state secrets”. In addition, more than 20
police officers are permanently stationed around the residence of Mr.
Hu’s wife and daughter, who have been prevented from received visitors,
and the phone line and internet connection have been cut off.
Mr. Hu Jia and his wife have
been under residential surveillance by the Beijing PSB since May 18,
2007, without any legal basis. The surveillance began as the couple were
about to set off on a tour of to promote their documentary film, “Prisoners
of Freedom City”.