Closed: 29 July 2011Mao Hengfeng was released on 28 July and is back home with her family. We are confirming details at the moment and will post further information shortly.
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UPDATE: 04 AUGUST 2011
On arrival at the Prison Hospital in February Mao Hengfeng’s health was already poor as a result of the torture she had suffered previously. However, it seems to have deteriorated significantly during her detention, causing the authorities to release her 4 weeks early.
When she arrived home she was in a wheelchair and was unconscious when her family first saw her. She regained consciousness shortly after but had little strength to stand up and to talk. There have been cases in Shanghai where detainees have died just days after their release and the family have been blamed for the death. Fearing this, her husband requested that she be taken to a motel.
On 29 July Police officers prevented her from leaving the hotel to go to hospital. Her family were told this was for ‘social stability reasons’ during the 14th FINA World Championships, an international aquatic sports competition. Now that the Championships are over Mao Hengfeng is allowed to go out but remains under surveillance.
On 31 July, she asked her husband to take her to church. Police followed them there and insisted she return home or to the motel. When she refused they tried to beat her but were stopped by members of the congregation.
Mao Hengfeng has told Amnesty International that during the past five months she has been subjected to beatings and denied any contact with her family. When the authorities took her back into custody on 22 February she was beaten in the police car continuously and lost consciousness for half an hour. During her detention in the prison hospital she has not been allowed to shower or bathe and if she moved without permission, even just to walk around the cell, she was beaten. An inmate assigned to monitor her was threatened with prolonged detention if they took pity on her.
We will continue to monitor the situation.
About this action
Human rights defender Mao Hengfeng was been sent back to a labour camp just two days after her release on medical parole.