Wed, Jun 27, 2012 - Page 6 News List

Husband in China forced abortion case is missing

AFP, BEIJING

The husband of a Chinese woman whose forced abortion seven months into her pregnancy caused an uproar has disappeared, a relative said yesterday, adding that her family is being harassed on a daily basis.

Feng Jianmei (馮建梅) had to go through the termination earlier this month in Shaanxi Province because she failed to pay a hefty fine for exceeding China’s strict “one child” population control policy.

The case caused an outcry when photographs emerged online of Feng lying in a hospital bed in Zhenping County next to her fetus’ bloody corpse, prompting an official probe that concluded action should be taken against the perpetrators.

However, a relative yesterday said that Feng’s husband, Deng Jiyuan (鄧吉元), had gone missing on Sunday.

“The last time I saw him, he was with all of us and he said that some leader wanted to speak to him, so he left,” said the relative, who refused to be named or otherwise identified.

“We haven’t seen him again since, and we can’t get through to his mobile,” the relative said.

Calls made to police and government in Zhenping, and to the higher-level Ankang City Government, went unanswered.

The relative added that since Sunday, scores of unidentified people had been harassing the family.

“On Sunday evening, we decided to go home [from hospital], and a lot of people had gathered outside,” the relative said. “They hung banners on a bridge, and many people came and shouted that we were traitors ... Now wherever we go, people follow us.”

Feng’s family members have spoken to foreign media and the relative said the protest could be linked to these interviews. It was unclear who the protesters were, but online reports suggested they had been hired by local authorities.

“If this is not organized by the powers-that-be, how can people make banners on their own and carry them out to the street?” one Web user wrote on Sina’s popular microblog service.

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