Ye Zhong, a man from the southeastern city of Fuzhou reportedly died in police custody. His wife also went missing days after his arrest last month. A local official said that Ye died from a heart attack.
However, according to his close friends, Ye endured severe torture from authorities while in custody.
Ye’s house was forcibly demolished by local authorities nine years ago. Since then, He’s repeatedly visited petition bureaus to file complaints and seek justice. Petitioners are often suppressed by authorities.
Forced demolition is a common practice in China. Under Chinese law, homeowners don’t actually own the land their homes sit on. Instead, they lease the land from China for a period of years. Authorities may decide to take back rights to a piece of land, in order to sell or develop it for more profitable projects. Residents usually receive little to no compensation.
Wife of Jailed Activist Writes Open Letter to Official
The wife of the prominent Chinese legal activist Hao Jinsong sent an open letter to the regime’s chief justice and prosecutor and the president of its highest court.
In the letter, she said that her husband was tortured by police while detained.
Hao’s work in defending citizens’ rights brought him multiple awards and favorable coverage from Chinese state-run media, over 10 years ago.
But early this year, he received a nine-year prison sentence for what Beijing called “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”—a charge often used to silence dissents.
The indictment cited Hao’s social media posts and comments saying some of them had “caused confusion” in the public.