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Authorities Widen Crackdown on Lawyers to Include Their Children

October 16, 2015

Liu Xiaoyuan (刘晓原), a lawyer with the Fengrui Law Firm—which is a chief target of the large-scale government crackdown on rights defense lawyers since July of this year—discloses that public security authorities have refused to process his son’s application for a passport to go abroad for graduate studies.

In an October 15 WeChat post that was also released on a Chinese language website, Liu describes what his son encountered recently, and says that his son is the third among children of Fengrui lawyers who have been prevented from leaving China. The first two are Bao Zhuoxuan (包卓轩), the son of lawyer Wang Yu (王宇), who was detained on July 9 this year, and lawyer Yu Hejin's son.

(In an article today, the state-controlled Xinhua News Agency claims that Wang Yu’s son was being coerced to go abroad by foreign anti-China forces and that the authorities are protecting him from them.)

Below is HRIC’s translation of Liu’s post. (See Chinese

WeChat Post by Liu Xiaoyuan

October 15, 2015

[Translation by Human Rights in China]

My child also could not get a passport to study abroad. My son is a fourth-year student at Nanchang University, and has planned to go abroad for graduate school after graduating next year. In mid-September, he formally applied to study abroad through a domestic study-abroad agency. According to the agency’s requirements, he needed to apply for a passport before November of this year, so that in December he could submit his application materials to foreign universities. His household registration had already been transferred to Nanchang while he was studying there.

On October 8, my son went to apply for his passport. The adjudication department said that the photo affixed to the household registration file from the Public Security Bureau was a little blurry, and that he should come back in one week. This afternoon, October 15, my son went to his scheduled appointment at the Nanchang Public Security Bureau’s Exit and Entry Administration Office. After looking on the computer, the adjudicating officer told him he could not apply for a passport. My son started to ask, for what reason?

The officer did not say. As my son continued to ask, the officer said it was the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau who had blocked him, for being part of a “reactionary organization.” My son said he was just a college student, and had never participated in any organization. The officer told my son to give the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau a call. My son asked which department he should call. The officer said he should call the “No. 1 General Unit” of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, but did not give him the phone number.

My son is the third among children of lawyers of the Fengrui Law Firm to be prevented from leaving the country.

The first was lawyer Wang Yu’s son, Bao Zhuoxuan, and the second was lawyer Yu Hejin's son. Yu’s son is studying for his bachelor’s degree at Shanghai Jiaotong University, and is in his second year. Per the university’s arrangement, after two years at Jiaotong University, he will be an exchange student at a U.S. university for the last two years. On August 1 of this year, Yu’s son planned to go to Oxford University with one of his teachers for a one-month student exchange program. While at the Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport for his departure, he was stopped by border security agents and told that the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau had restricted him from leaving the country, on the grounds that going abroad might endanger national security.

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