Dharamsala, Jan. 14: Mao Hengfeng, 48, a Shanghai-based petitioner and rights defender, was detained on January 12 to be held for seven days by Shanghai police for shouting slogans in public, reports the New York based NGO Human Rights in China. Mao was released from prison in November 2008 after serving a two and a half-year sentence for breaking two lamps while under "residential surveillance."
Just before a meeting of Shanghai Municipal People's Congress and the Shanghai Municipal Political Consultative Conference, Mao shouted,"People’s deputies should represent the people; oppose torture; oppose persecution; demand human rights," HRIC reported citing Mao's family members. Mao had gone with her daughter Wu Juejin on January 12 to petition the people’s deputies and representatives who were to attend the meeting.
According to HRIC, police immediately surrounded Mao and Wu before taking them in a police vehicle to the Daqiao police station in Yangpu District. Later, the police drove Wu back to her home. According to police records, Mao is being detained for seven days for "disturbing public order."
A family member who visited Mao at the local police station told HRIC that Mao's appearance was disheveled and her clothes were torn. Mao had informed her family member that she was beaten by the police, who also withheld her food.
HRIC further said, “Mao has been an activist and petitioner for 20 years. In 1988, she was dismissed from her soap factory job when she refused to abort a second pregnancy. Mao was forcibly admitted to psychiatric hospitals three times, detained multiple times, and served a one-and-a-half year sentence of Reeducation-Through-Labor (RTL). While she was in the Shanghai Women's Prison serving the two-and-a-half-year term, Mao was subjected to various abuses, including a 70-day-long solitary confinement, beating, choking that resulted from forced feeding, and suspension in mid-air with her hands and feet bound.”