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CAIXINMEDIA

Who Will Help Feng Jianmei? Chinese Woman Forced To Abort Hounded By Authorities

Exclusive: Two weeks ago she sparked an international uproar in her defense with a grisly photo of her dead would-be second child, after a forced abortion for violating China's one-child policy. Feng is now being hounded by locals, and her husban

In one of the widely circulated photos, Feng Jianmei (rt) with her brother and sister-in-law after the forced abortion
In one of the widely circulated photos, Feng Jianmei (rt) with her brother and sister-in-law after the forced abortion

**ARTICLE HAS BEEN UPDATED/AMENDED, SEE BELOW

BEIJING - Days after being forced to undergo a dangerous late-term abortion, a fact revealed by Caixin media earlier this month, Feng Jianmei and her husband continue to be persecuted by local officials in this remote corner of rural northwest of China. The family has lost contact with Feng's husband, Deng Jiyuan, over the past few days after a crowd showed up in front of the couple's house accusing them of being "traitors' for having accepted a German press interview.

Feng Jianmei was taken into hospital by force by the family planning department of Zhenping County in early June because she couldn't afford the 40,000 RMB ($6,300) penalty imposed for the second child she was bearing, in violation of China's one-child policy. At the time, the pregnancy was at seven months and the fetus almost fully developed. On June 11th, a photo of Feng and the dead fetus lying beside her was uploaded on the Internet. A national and international uproar ensued.

Due to public opinion pressure and an intervention from their government hierarchy, the chief of Zhenping Family Planning bureau and two other related officials were suspended from their posts. Meanwhile, the Zhenping county governor promised to investigate the case and publish a detailed finding of the investigation last week.

Seeking to calm matters, Feng and her husband refused several foreign media demands for an interview, while also declining the proffered help from Zhang Kai, a prominent Beijing lawyer, and another famous Beijing legal scholar.

After days of waiting, last Wednesday, Deng Jiyuan, Feng's husband, announced on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, that the authorities were clearly stalling -- and he would take legal proceedings. He also stated that he was going to Beijing the next day for an interview.

However, Deng's plan was again interrupted after local Ankang township officials showed up again to pacify the family. On Friday, the situation became tense. According to Deng's father, while Deng was preparing to go to Beijing in the afternoon, more than 20 officials from the county government circled the father and son. After a few hours of deadlock between both parties, a man suddenly jumped out of the crowd and kicked Deng in the abdomen. His father told the reporter that Deng was kicked into the ditch beside the road.

Unexpectedly, according to the report of Want Daily, a China-based Taiwanese newspaper, on June 24th the Zhenping county authority organized another gang of people to stand in front of Deng's home. They waved a cloth banner with the message "Down with traitors! Expel them from Zhenping!"

Since then, the rest of the family does not know Deng's whereabouts. Deng's father told Caixin that his son had been followed by four or five persons to prevent him from going to Beijing. The Beijing lawyer, Zhang Kai, speculated that Deng may have been taken away and imprisoned by the local authority.

Ankang city government have officially announced that the forced abortion violated state and provincial regulation, which led to the firing of two local officials and serious administrative and party warnings for five others. The probe result was unveiled one week later than originally planned.

*This is a condensed version of the original article in Chinese

**Due to editing errors in the production of the English version, an earlier version incorrectly stated that Feng Jianmei's whereabouts were unknown. In fact only her husband Deng Jiyuan is missing.

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China

How China's Mass Protest Took The World By Surprise — And Where It Will End

China is facing its biggest political protests in decades as frustration grows with its harsh Zero-COVID strategy. However, the real reasons for the protests run much deeper. Could it be the starting point for a new civic movement?

Photo of police during protests in China against covid-19 restrictions

Security measures during a protest against COVID-19 restrictions

Changren Zheng

In just one weekend, protests spread across China. A fire in an apartment block in Urumqi in China’s western Xinjiang region killed 10, with many blaming lockdown rules for the deaths. Anti-lockdown demonstrations spread to Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Chengdu and other cities. University students from more than half of China's provinces organized various protests against COVID restrictions.

Why and how did the movement spread so rapidly?

At the core, protesters are unhappy with President Xi Jinping's three-year-long Zero-COVID strategy that has meant mass testing, harsh lockdowns, and digital tracking. Yet, the general belief about the Chinese people was that they lacked the awareness and experience for mass political action. Even though discontent had been growing about the Zero-COVID strategy, no one expected these protests.

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