SWEDEN—Visiting scholar Xiao Qiao is stranded in Sweden with no legal status after she was banned from returning home to Shanghai by the Shenzhen Public Security Bureau.
In 2002 Xiao, whose given name is Li Jianhong, started an independent Web site in China called QiMeng Forum or A Forum for Enlightenment. The site carried information about the June 4th Tiananmen Square Massacre and was shut down by Chinese authorities.
Xiao came to Sweden in 2008 by invitation of the Swedish Ministry of Culture. She lived in Stockholm on a visa until October of 2009. On her return trip to Shanghai, the Division of Exit-Entry Administration in Shenzhen deported her to Hong Kong—a place where she has no permanent residency status. Consequently, she flew back to Sweden to appeal for humanitarian intervention.
In an interview with The Epoch Times, Xiao said, “My passport has expired. I have submitted a letter to the Chinese embassy appealing my passport status. In addition, I am demanding an open apology and financial compensation from the Division of Exit-Entry Administration of the Shenzhen Public Security Bureau for denying my re-entry into China last month.”
Mr. Wang, an official at the embassy, reviewed Xiao’s case. She said he told her that her demand for an apology and compensation was not going to happen, and that if she persisted with such demands, getting her passport renewed would become impossible. He recommended that she show “penitence” by apologizing to the Chinese authorities for any offensive conduct or speech on her part that had embarrassed the country.
Xiao said she responded immediately, saying: “That’s ridiculous. Regardless of what crime or wrongdoings I may be accused of, I would have hoped that the situation would be handled after my return to China and through lawful procedures.”
Xiao chose China’s Legislative Day, Dec. 4, to stage a protest at the Chinese Embassy. She also spoke in support of Chinese human rights’ activist Feng Zhenghu who has also been denied access to his homeland. Feng has been camping out at the Tokyo Narita International Airport for a month.
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