Chinese activist's son held in Myanmar

Chinese activist's son held in Myanmar

Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the UN, delivers remarks in front of a monitor depicting imprisoned Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Yu, at a briefing last month in Washington. Wang's son is now believed to have been captured in Myanmar. (Reuters Photo)
Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the UN, delivers remarks in front of a monitor depicting imprisoned Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Yu, at a briefing last month in Washington. Wang's son is now believed to have been captured in Myanmar. (Reuters Photo)

BEIJING — The teenage son of a prominent human rights lawyer being held in China has been detained in Myanmar, says a family friend who alleges Chinese police are responsible.

Men who appeared to be police took Bao Zhuoxuan, 16, away from a guesthouse in a town close to the border on Tuesday as he was trying to escape China, family friend Zhou Fengsuo told AFP on Saturday.

"The [Chinese] government is using him as a hostage," Zhou said, adding he did not know the whereabouts of the teen and two men who had been looking after him.

Chinese security agents "are kidnapping their own citizen basically, the only reason is to use him against his parents, which is just so shameful", he added.

Police in Inner Mongolia, where Bao reportedly was staying with family before his escape attempt, said they "had not heard" of the teen's alleged detention.

Chinese officials confiscated Bao's passport in July, when both his parents were detained in a crackdown on lawyers who had taken on cases the government deemed subversive.

Beijing does not tolerate organised dissent and often denies passports to political activists, as well as members of ethnic minorities.

But some still manage to escape via China's relatively porous borders with Southeast Asia.

Mong La, the town where Bao was taken, is in the north of Myanmar where rebel groups have for years been in conflict with the government.

Two men helping the teenager, Tang Zhishun and Xing Qingxian, were also detained in the town, Zhou said, citing the owner of the guesthouse where they had stayed.

The two man's homes in China were later searched, suggesting that "Chinese police apparently have synchronised actions with the police in Burma", Zhou added.

Zhou lives in San Francisco and said he had planned to meet Bao in Thailand before bringing him to the United States to seek asylum.

Chinese police detained Bao's mother Wang Yu, an outspoken human rights lawyer, in July and later accused her of "subverting state power", according to her attorneys.

His father Bao Longjun has also been held for months along with around a dozen other activists labelled as a "criminal gang" by state media.


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