The father of a Chinese baby that was forcibly aborted has reportedly disappeared, while his wife is being held in the hospital and intimidated by the local government, family members say.
“It appears that the government’s previous apology and the suspension of three officials may have been insincere,” warned Reggie Littlejohn, founder of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, an international organization that works to oppose Chinese forced abortion, gendercide and sex slavery.
Feng Jianmei, a seven-month pregnant Chinese woman, gained international attention in early June when she was taken to a hospital and forced to undergo an abortion for violating the nation’s strict one-child policy.
Now her husband, Deng Liyuan, may be in danger.
According to Fox News, Deng’s sister, Deng Jicai, believes that the government is lashing out at the family in anger at her brother’s contact with reporters.
She explained that last week, her brother tried to travel to Beijing in order to meet with journalists and civil lawyers there. However, he was stopped by a large crowd and several men in cars, who proceeded to beat him, she said.
Deng has now been missing for several days, she added.
Although she said that she got a brief call from him on June 26 saying that he was safe and telling her not to worry, she said that he would not reveal his location and the family is "still worried.”
She also said that 23-year-old Feng, the mother of the aborted baby, is under constant surveillance and is not being permitted to leave the hospital.
Furthermore, she reported, a group of local townspeople, led by the local government authorities, have conducted a protest outside the hospital, where they raised a banner calling the family “traitors” and demanding that they be “severely” beaten and expelled from the town.
The incident began several weeks ago when Feng and Deng were unable to pay the 40,000 yuan fine – equivalent to about $6,300 – for having an “illegal” pregnancy. Because the couple already had one daughter, they were not authorized to have an additional child.
Chinese family planning officials reportedly surrounded the couple’s house on June 2 and forced Feng to go to the hospital for an abortion.
Graphic photos of Feng lying next to her aborted fetus in a hospital bed began to spread online, generating international attention and protest.
In response, Chinese authorities said that they had apologized to Feng, suspended the individuals involved and would be conducting a disciplinary investigation.
However, Litteljohn told CNA she believes that these steps might have been “mere propaganda aimed at creating the illusion that the Chinese Communist Party adheres to the rule of law.”
She said that she has heard the reports of Deng being beaten and disappearing, of the protests being organized against the family and of guards patrolling Feng’s hospital room and holding her there “against her will.”
Littlejohn said that these reports remind her of the surveillance surrounding blind pro-life activist Chen Guangcheng, whom she recently helped in his efforts to escape house arrest and come to the U.S. with his immediate family.
“In many areas, Family Planning Officials are lawless thugs, accountable to no one,” she warned.
“The forced abortion of a seven month pregnant woman is illegal under Chinese law, and yet it still happens as local officials struggle to meet family planning quotas,” she explained.
The Chinese Communist Party “relies on forced abortion to keep the Chinese people down through terror,” Littlejohn said, adding that she believes “the Family Planning Police function as domestic terrorists.”