BEIJING – Two unidentified men have broken into the house of a Chinese lawyer jailed for helping Shanghai residents seek compensation for evictions, a human rights group said.
Soon after lawyer Zheng Enchong’s wife had left the house to visit him in jail, two men forced their way in, Human Rights in China said in a statement received by Reuters on Friday. A family friend had seen the incident.
The men left after being challenged, the group said.
Zheng’s wife contacted the police on getting home and they said they would investigate, but nothing more was heard from them, it added.
Zheng is serving a three-year sentence at Shanghai’s Tilanqiao prison after being convicted of “illegally obtaining state secrets” in a closed-door trial in October 2003. He is due for release on June 5.
Amnesty International said last year it feared Zheng had been beaten in prison.
Zheng had helped Shanghai residents with a lawsuit accusing the city government of colluding with real estate tycoon Zhou Zhengyi, once one of China’s richest men but later convicted and jailed for stock market fraud and falsifying documents.
In another case, Reporters Without Borders said a Chinese dissident jailed for writing essays critical of the Communist Party needed surgery for a slipped cervical disc and called on authorities to move him from prison to a hospital.
The People’s Intermediate Court in the eastern province of Anhui sentenced the dissident, Zhang Lin, to five years in prison last July on charges of inciting subversion in six articles that he had posted on dissident news Web sites abroad.
In September Zhang was taken to hospital after a hunger strike to protest against his imprisonment, a rights group said.