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Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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CHINA USES COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT TO SILENCE DISSIDENTS

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TAIWAN (Taiwan News) — China’s local authorities are outdoing each other in a competition to prove who is most loyal to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), detaining dissidents and putting their family members under strict surveillance.

On July 24, Wang Liqin (王利芹), the wife of Chinese poet Wang Cang (王藏), was arrested by Yunnan Province police after she drew attention to her husband’s plight online. He had been detained in May for “inciting subversion of state power.”

After the arrest, police continued to keep a close watch on the family, including the four children who are now taken care of by the grandmother. On Wednesday (Sept. 9), Wang Liqin’s younger sister disappeared after being summoned by police.

The younger sister had disclosed how the local authorities treated her sister and family, which gained a lot of public attention, RFA reported. It said her disappearance shows the local authorities want to ensure a media blackout about the Wangs.

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Wang Cang began writing poems and published them on the internet using the pen name “Little Prince,” in 2003. He has also been a vigorous critic of authoritarian rule.

Between 2014-2015, he was detained and reportedly tortured for nine months in Beijing because of his support for Hong Kong’s “Umbrella Revolution,” Uyghur scholar Jlham Tohti, as well as criticizing the Cultural Revolution.

The Beijing-based human rights activist Hu Jia (胡佳) said this kind of collective punishment shows how local governments tackle dissidents.

“Chinese provinces are competing to see which one has the latest and most effective way to safeguard national security. They arrest whoever opposes the government, as well as family members who choose to make their voices heard,” Hu told RFA.

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