Mao Hengfeng released in China!
Mao Hengfeng, a human rights defender in China, was released on February 8, 2013 to serve the rest of her term at home.
She had been sentenced to "Re-education Through Labor" on October 30, 2012. It was the latest in a series of detentions dating back to 2004 because of her work standing up for human rights.
Mao wants to thank everyone who campaigned on her behalf. Her husband Wu Xuewei believes she is now home again due to the international and domestic calls for her release.
Mao Hengfeng, who suffers from poor health, is now resting at home with her family. She told us how on September 30th last year she was in Beijing to celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival. While there, she was followed by 20 men in plain clothes. She tried to hide, but they found her and punched and kicked her and pushed her to the ground. She was forced into a van and taken to Yangpu police station in Shanghai for questioning. A month later she was sentenced.
During her detention she was held in solitary confinement in a dark cell without windows and was not given access to clean hot water until her health worsened.
This victory made possible in part by Amnesty International's Urgent Action Network. This global network responds to urgent situations involving prisoners of conscience, detainees, and other individuals whose human rights are being imminently threatened. Members of the Urgent Action Network compose and send letters, e-mails and faxes to government officials who have the power to stop the human rights violations.