A Hong Kong Food and Environmental Hygiene Department official asks a question to staff at the June 4 Memorial Hall of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China on June 1, 2021. Chinese human rights lawyer Tang Jitian was stopped by authorities at Fuzhou airport on Wednesday (June 2) as he was leaving the country to accompany his seriously ill daughter in Japan, on the grounds that he was “endangering national security. Speaking to Taiwan at the airport, Tang said he would take legal action to defend his civil rights.
Tang Jitian, a human rights lawyer who has been repeatedly banned from leaving China by the Chinese border authorities, took a flight to Japan on Wednesday. He was stopped by border guards from Fujian Province at Fuzhou Changle International Airport when he was leaving the country. He said in an interview with this station at the airport that at around 8:30 a.m. that day, after he checked his luggage and went through the exit formalities at the airport, a female police officer with police number 230568 examined his passport exceptionally carefully, after which he was taken to the questioning room by a number of male police officers.
“In the morning, my Japanese journalist friends arrived at the airport before me, and they found a lot of plainclothes. As soon as I arrived at the airport, I noticed people taking pictures of me. When I arrived at border checkpoint 8, a female police officer checked my passport, swiping it around, and later a male police officer joined in to do a special check of my evidence. Then a few more police officers were called in to take me to the border control questioning room.” Tang Jitian said he was guarded in the questioning room for about twenty minutes by three police officers, with one male officer holding his passport and a note announcing to him that he was not allowed to leave China.
“I was verbally announced that I was not allowed to leave the country under Article 12, Item 5 of the Immigration Control Law, which allegedly endangers national security. I demanded that he must tell me the name and contact information of the department that made this decision and the person in charge or handling it, and he said at first that they were only carrying it out and fulfilling their mission.”
Beijing Public Security Bureau Orders Tang Jitian Banned from Leaving the Country
Tang Jitian said that after much negotiation, the airport border control officer admitted to being notified by the Beijing police, but refused to provide the contact information.
“I was told it was the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, but just wouldn’t tell me the names and contact information of specific officers. At this point, there were more and more uniformed police officers, so I walked towards the door while talking. My boarding pass was thrown into the trash by them.”
Tang Jitian is a human rights lawyer who has represented a large number of vulnerable groups in human rights cases over the past decade or so. in April 2009, while appearing in court for his client at the Luzhou City Central Court in Sichuan, he angrily withdrew from court in protest because his right to defense was repeatedly denied by the judge. in 2010, Tang Jitian’s license to practice law was revoked by the authorities for promoting direct election to the Bar Association and assisting Falun Gong practitioners, and he has since been subject to so-called “In 2017, he intended to seek medical treatment in Hong Kong, but was stopped at the Luohu border crossing in Shenzhen and banned from leaving the country on the grounds that he “might endanger national security.
Tang Jitian’s boarding pass was thrown into the trash. (Courtesy of reporter Qiao Long)
The boarding pass presented by Tang Jitian was torn into two pieces. Tang Jitian said he was going to Japan to accompany his daughter who was seriously ill in hospital, but was intercepted. As a father, Tang Jitian said.
“As a father, I used to be somewhat indebted to my daughter when she was growing up. Now that he is seriously ill, it’s very unpleasant that I can’t be by her side and give her more strength at such a difficult time. She (daughter) is now in the intensive care unit and she just celebrated her 25th birthday. The medical staff is very dedicated, and the child’s mother has gone over, just after the quarantine period, but is unfamiliar with Japan.”
Tang Yoshida’s daughter, who is studying in Tokyo, has been hospitalized with tuberculosis since April 30 and is very sick with swelling of the right side of her brain, hydrocephalus, and hydrocephalus, in addition to tuberculosis. Tang Jitian’s lawyer expected to be able to visit her in Japan, but was unable to get a positive response from the authorities.
The Chinese border officials in Fujian Province have banned ordinary citizens from leaving the country on the grounds of “national security”. Tang told the station that he would consider taking legal action.
“Any legal action that can be taken is under consideration. We can’t just stand by and watch them do whatever they want and continue to do whatever they want.”
About 100 scholars and lawyers at home and abroad have signed the letter, titled “Letter of Solidarity with Lawyer Tang Jitian,” asking the Chinese government to allow him to travel to Japan to care for his seriously ill daughter on humanitarian grounds. The signatories of the letter include New York University Professor of Law Jie Rong Kong, University of Chicago Visiting Professor Biao Teng, and Dr. Yujie Chen, Assistant Research Fellow at the Institute of Law, Academia Sinica, Taiwan.