Right activist barred from leaving China to meet seriously ill daughter in Tokyo

·2-min read
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Beijing [China], June 5 (ANI): A Chinese human rights activist said he has been barred from leaving China to meet his seriously ill daughter, who is admitted to a Japanese hospital.

Prominent human rights activist Tang Jitian said he feels "helpless" after he was stopped from boarding a flight from Fuzhou, in China's southeastern Fujian province, to Tokyo.

He said law enforcement authorities told him he could not leave the country on the grounds that he would "endanger national security", South China Morning Post reported.

"The decision was made by the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau but the Fuzhou authorities refused to give me any more information," Tang said.

"I'm physically and mentally exhausted over my daughter's illness for the past month and a half. Now I can't even see her in hospital - there are no words to describe how I feel other than deep regret," he said. "If it wasn't for my girl, I'd have long given up on the hope of ever leaving China again."

Tang said his 25-year-old daughter, Tang Zhengqi, had been attending a university preparatory school in Tokyo since 2019 and working part-time.

She fell ill with tuberculous meningitis and was taken to hospital on April 30 and is now in a coma, he said.

Her mother, who is divorced from Tang Jitian, arrived in Tokyo in mid-May and could not see her daughter until Tuesday because of Covid-19 quarantine rules.

The 53-year-old former human rights lawyer was travelling back to Beijing from Fuzhou on Friday. He said he had spent a month trying to get permission to leave China on humanitarian grounds, so he could visit his daughter, but had been unsuccessful, though he received a visa for Japan about two weeks ago.

Tang had his license to practice law but was revoked in 2010 and since then he made over a dozen unsuccessful attempts to leave mainland China.

Tang was detained for 15 days in 2014 for investigating, with three other lawyers, the illegal detention of several Falun Gong members in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang. Tang said he was tortured during this time and sustained multiple fractures as a result.

In January, another activist, Guo Feixiong, was barred from leaving China to join his cancer-stricken wife in the United States, also because of national security concerns. He has been incommunicado since he was detained at Shanghai's Pudong airport. (ANI)

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