Chinese man detained for helping son of incarcerated human rights lawyers

By Suzette Gutierrez Cachila for the Christian Times

After having gone missing for seven months, a Chinese activist has been confirmed to be held under criminal detention by authorities, apparently for "smuggling" persons outside China.

Xing Qingxian, together with Tang Zhishun, helped 16-year-old Bao Zhuoxuan cross the border into Myanmar so the boy can go to the U.S. to study. The three reportedly traveled under the guise of tourists because Bao was issued a travel ban when his parents were arrested last year, according to Radio Free Asia.

Bao is the son of human rights lawyers Wang Yu and Bao Longlun. On July 9, 2015, the couple was arrested as part of a government crackdown targeting human rights lawyers, activists and their families.

Xing and Tang were able to get Bao successfully to Myanmar's border town of Mongla. They stayed at Huadu Guest House. However, on Oct. 6, 2015, about a dozen men carrying Burmese police IDs came to the hotel and took all three men.

Friends of Xing and Tang inquired from local authorites about the three, but the authorities said they did not detain anyone. They then inquired from authorities in Myanmar, but were surprised to be told the police there had no information about Xing, Tang and Bao, a report said.

It was only earlier this month that Xing's family was notified that he is being criminally detained for being suspected of "organizing smuggling of persons across a national boundary."

"Two-hundred-and-twenty-six days after Tang Zhishun and Xing Qingxian were detained by Chinese police in Myanmar, I have finally received notification of Xing's criminal detention," Xing's wife He Juan said in a tweet.

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