The Chinese authorities refuse to say what has become of journalist and human rights activist Hada (哈达), who should have been released from Inner Mongolia’s Chifeng prison on 10 December on completing a 15-year jail sentence. There has also been no direct word from his wife Xinna (新娜) and his son Uiles (威勒斯), who were arrested 10 days ago.
Reporters Without Borders calls on the government to provide precise information about the current status of Hada and his family.
The information currently available suggests that he has been placed under house arrest, but anything is possible. He may have been the victim of a forced disappearance. It is also not known whether the charges brought against Xinna and Uiles when they were arrested on 4 and 5 December have been dropped, or whether they are still facing trial and possible jail sentences.
Hada’s isolation violates his right as a former prisoner to fully recover his freedom on completing his sentence. Hada served his entire 15-year sentence.
Five photos of Hada with his wife and son were posted anonymously on the overseas Chinese community website Boxun on 11 December with the caption “Family reunion.” They were probably taken in a hotel on 10 December by the Public Security Department. A CD-Rom containing the photos was reportedly also passed anonymously to Hada’s sister-in-law, Naraa, who thinks they are “authentic” and “recent.”
Naraa was reportedly received yesterday in the Inner Mongolian capital of Hohhot by an official identified solely as Jin, who told her that Hada, his wife and his son were safe and were taking advantage of the family’s reunion in a “luxury five star hotel” which he refused to identify. Without going into any detail, he also reportedly told her that Hada and his family needed “a bit of time and calm to prepare the next stages.”
Hada’s uncle, Haschuluu (哈斯朝鲁), reportedly received an SMS on 13 December from Xinna’s mobile phone that was written by Hada. It said: “I have been released. My son Uiles has been released too. All three of us are now together. Do not worry about us. I need a bit of peace at the moment to decide about my future. Do not use the phone which could be tapped”.
Haschuluu then messaged back requesting details about his current location and the date of the photos that had been posted online. But the reply just said: “I am very well. Say hello to the family”.
Read Hada’s orally dictated testimony to his wife Xinna during her visit to the prison: http://www.smhric.org/Latest_A.htm