Amnesty International USA

Further information on UA: 281/12 (4 October 2012) PDF
Issue Date: 7 November 2012
Country: China


Mao Hengfeng, a relentless campaigner for reproductive rights and against forced evictions in China, was ordered to serve 18 months “Re-education Through Labor”. She is a prisoner of conscience and is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.

On 30 October Mao Hengfeng was ordered to serve 18 months “Re-education Through Labor” (RTL) for “disturbing public order”. In the decision notice, Mao Hengfeng was charged with participating in commemorative activities for deceased individuals on two occasions in January and July 2012 which resulted in “disturbing public order”. Her husband, Wu Xuewei, has been prevented from seeing his wife when visiting the Yangpu district police detention centre in Shanghai, where she was last known to be held. He has tried to send her clothes and money. Whether Mao Hengfeng has been transferred to the RTL facility remains unknown. This is the latest development after Mao Hengfeng was apprehended on 30 September. On 2 October her family received notification that she was held on suspicion of “gathering to disturb order at a public place”.

Authorities also detained other activists including Dong Guoqing, Shen Yongmei and Cui Guofang who were ordered to serve one year of RTL for “disturbing public order”; Wei Qin who was reportedly arrested for an unknown reason; and Wang Kouma who was taken from his home in late September and whose family was informed in mid-October that he was held “on suspicion of gathering a crowd to disturb public order”.

Mao Hengfeng has up to 60 days to appeal the sentence to the Shanghai Municipality People’s Government. Amnesty International considers Mao Hengfeng to be a prisoner of conscience, and believes that the punishment she received was to prevent her from continuing her campaigning work during the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party scheduled to convene on 8 November.

Please write immediately in Chinese or your own language:

  • Calling on the authorities to release Mao Hengfeng immediately and unconditionally;
  • Calling on the authorities to ensure Mao Hengfeng and other activists are not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment while in detention;
  • Calling on the authorities to ensure Mao Hengfeng and other activists have access to legal representatives of their own choosing, and access to the necessary medical assistance and treatment they require.


Director of the Shanghai Municipal
Re-education Through Labor Committee
WU Junying Zhuren
Shanghaishi Laodong Jiaoyang Guanli Weiyuanhui
185 Fuzhoulu, Shanghaishi 200030
Telephone: 011 86 21 62310110 (Chinese only)
Salutation: Dear Director

Chief of the Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau
ZHANG Xuebing Juzhang
Shanghaishi Gong’anju
128 Wuningnanlu
Shanghaishi 200042
Fax: 011 86 21 24062676
Email: sfacc@online.sh.cn or gaj02@shanghai.gov.cn
Salutation: Dear Director

And copies to:

Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress
WU Bangguo Weiyuanzhang
Quanguo Renda Changwu Weiyuanhui Bangongting
23 Xijiaominxiang
Xichengqu, Beijingshi 100805
Fax: 011 86 10 63097934
Email:icc@npc.gov.cn or tgxx@npc.gov.cn (attachments only)

Also send copies to:

Ambassador Zhang Yesui
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, 3505 International Place, NW, Washington DC 20008, USA
Tel: 202 495-2266
Fax: 1 202 495-2138
Email: chinaembpress_us@mfa.gov.cn

Please check with the AIUSA Urgent Action Office if sending appeals after the above date.


Mao Hengfeng has been repeatedly detained for her work defending women’s reproductive rights and victims of forced evictions in China. In March 2010, Mao was assigned 18 months of “Re-education Through Labor” (RTL) for her activism. While in RTL, she was tortured. She was released on 22 February 2011 on medical parole due to her high blood pressure and serious injuries caused by the torture she suffered while in detention. According to her own account, she partially lost feeling on the left half of her body and could not move properly. Shortly before her release on 22 February, Mao Hengfeng had been sent to two different hospitals for medical checks. A doctor did a CT scan on her head and found signs of bleeding in her brain.