Airport Dissident Under State ‘Protection’ in China
The Chinese dissident who spent more than three months living in the arrivals hall in a Tokyo airport, is under heavy state “protection” in China, Human Rights in China (HRIC) reported Wednesday.
“Beginning in March, they placed a group of five people outside the door of my home, to take turns watching after me 24/7. They have orders from their superiors to follow me whenever I go out. They are watching me so tightly, ostensibly to ‘protect my safety,’” said Feng Zhenghu in an interview with HRIC.
Feng made international news last winter when he was stuck in limbo in the arrivals hall of Tokyo’s Narita Airport with no access to food, shops, or showers. Feng got into the predicament when Shanghai authorities repeatedly refused to allow him to re-enter China after a trip to Japan. After his eighth failed attempt to fly home, Feng decided to remain in the arrivals hall in protest until Chinese authorities allowed him to return home, which they eventually did—three months later.
His latest project is called the “Feng Zhenghu’s Expo of Judicial Injustice.” The Expo presents 12 examples from Feng’s own experience that illustrate typical injustices in the judicial system in Shanghai. The expo is divided into six sections: 1. Personal freedom; 2. Freedom of publication; 3. Free flow of information on the Internet; 4. Freedom of speech; 5. Protection of private properties; 6. Judicial inaction.
On April 18, a week after the expo went online, Feng sent out a Twitter message to followers announcing that the live version of the expo would be from April 25 to December 24. The timing was scheduled to coincide with the Shanghai World Expo, which opens on Saturday.
On April 19 police detained Feng and searched his home, confiscating his computer and other equipment.
“My mobile phone connection has been interfered with, which has brought me harm, and has also limited my personal freedom,” Feng told HRIC.
“I wish they wouldn’t be so nervous,” said Feng.
Feng Zhenghu has been a thorn in the side of the Chinese state after spending several years pursing a mission to try and hold the regime accountable to its own laws.
His mission began in 2000 after he was sentence to three years in jail and fined 400,000 yuan (about US$58,600), for “illegal business activities” after publishing a book called “Japanese Companies in Shanghai”—a listing of Japanese companies doing business in China—without permission.
In prison, Feng studied law. When he got out, he attempted to sue the Shanghai Municipal Press and Publication Bureau, but failed.
He then started a magazine called Corruption Watch to monitor corruption in Shanghai and he began helping Chinese petitioners fight for their rights after being forcibly evicted and having their homes demolished.