Defence & Foreign Policy HKFP Voices Law & Crime

Son of detained human rights lawyer among Chinese citizens missing in Burma

Around noon on October 6, 2015, Chinese citizen Bao Zhuoxuan (包卓轩, also known as Bao Mengmeng 包蒙蒙), the 16-year-old son of lawyer Wang Yu (王宇), and two grown men Tang Zhishun (唐志顺) and Xing Qingxian (幸清贤) were taken away by Burmese police from Room 8348 of Huadu Guest House (华都宾馆) in Mongla (also known as Little Mongla) near the border with China while traveling during the National Day holidays.

The hotel owner said that a dozen or so policemen had come, displayed Burmese law enforcement IDs, and taken all three away.

china detained activists

Xing Qingxian (top-left), Tang Zhishun (bottom-left) and Bao Zhuoxuan.

On October 7, friends and at least a lawyer went to local police bureau to make inquiries about the three, but the police denied of detaining anyone. They then visited the local Burmese law and politics office but found no information about the three.

Friends then reported the missing of the three to local police, demanding the Burmese authorities to search for them. Afterwards, friends went back to Huadu Guest House to ask more questions. Upon arriving, they saw two Burmese policemen speaking to the owner. After the police left, the female owner wouldn’t answer any of their questions anymore.

Those of you who have followed the recent detention of rights lawyers in China may recall that, earlier on July 9, Bao Zhuoxuan and his father were detained at the Beijing airport while en route to Australia to attend college. At the same time, his mother, human rights lawyer Wang Yu was disappeared too from her Beijing home. The event, it turned out, marked the onset of an unprecedented large-scale arrest of rights lawyers and activists.

The teenager, released later, and his relatives have been summoned by Chinese police several times who warned them, among other things, not to become involved in Wang Yu’s case and not to contact lawyers. The authorities confiscated Bao Zhuoxuan’s passport, making it clear to him that it was no longer possible for him to pursue studies overseas.

hotel in burma

Hotel where they were last seen in Mongla, Burma.

To date, at least 26 human rights lawyers and activists have been criminally detained or placed under residential surveillance at a designated place without access to lawyers, and nearly 300 more across China have been temporarily detained, disappeared, questioned, or threatened.

Lawyer Wang Yu and her husband Bao Longjun are among those who have been placed under residential surveillance at a designated place, and their lawyers’ repeated attempts to find out where they are detained have been met with obstruction.

We hope to bring the disappearance of Bao Zhuoxuan, Tang Zhishun and Xing Qingxian to the attention of the media and the international community, and we ask the Burmese government to provide information about their status immediately.

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Son of detained human rights lawyer among Chinese citizens missing in Burma