AFPBEIJING (AFP-Jiji) — China’s first “cyber-dissident” Huang Qi is in danger of dying under police custody if he does not receive medical treatment for a host of severe health conditions, human rights groups warned on Monday.
Huang, 55, who was arrested in 2016 for “leaking state secrets,” is currently being held in Mianyang Detention Centre in southwestern Sichuan province, according to his mother.
Huang ran a website called “64 Tianwang,” named after the bloody June 4, 1989 crackdown on Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protesters.
The website, which has reported on local corruption cases, police brutality, and other topics rarely seen in ordinary Chinese media, is blocked in mainland China.
According to human rights organizations, Huang suffers from chronic kidney disease, hydrocephalus or accumulation of fluid in the brain, and heart disease.
“Huang Qi’s current condition is extremely urgent,” his 85-year-old mother, Pu Wenqing, who traveled to Beijing in October to make a case for her son, told AFP.
“I don’t want my son to die in prison. I hope the authorities will let him receive medical treatment,” she said, adding that he has been denied medical bail despite multiple pleas.
Fourteen non-profit organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Freedom House, released a statement calling for Huang’s immediate release.
Citing Huang’s lawyer, the organizations said that the Chinese dissident is not receiving adequate medical care in detention, and his condition is so dire that there is an “immediate threat to his life.”Speech