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Stories People

My endless nightmare

Wang Yu, female, born 1971 in Inner Mongolia, is one of China’s most respected human rights lawyers. In the middle of the night, on 9 July 2015, Wang was abducted from her home in Beijing. Her sudden disappearance in the middle of the night sparked what would become the “709 Crackdown.”


It was 8 July 2015, shortly after 11pm. I had just said goodbye to my son [Bao Zhuoxuan], who was heading to Australia for study, and my husband [Bao Longjun [Chapter 11], who was accompanying him. Initially I had been planning to go with them to the airport, but since the flight was at midnight my husband worried about me returning home alone. We decided I would say goodbye at the house. After they had left, I called to ask them to call me after they passed immigration. I couldn’t control my sadness and cried on the phone. Even though I was trying to comfort my 16 year old son, I was the one choking. My husband couldn’t bear to hear our parting words and hung up. After the brief call I went upstairs to prepare for a trial the following day. Later, after having changed into my pajamas and gotten to bed, I still couldn’t stop thinking about Bao Zhuoxuan. I couldn’t fall asleep.

It was after one am and I still hadn’t received a call saying that they had passed immigration. I tried reaching them but neither of their phones connected. At first, I thought it was because they didn’t have signal, but I had called many times, up to and after their scheduled takeoff time, and it was the same. I was growing worried. I shared a message with some friends in a WeChat and Telegram group, hoping they could help with ideas. I called the airline, but couldn’t get through.

Without warning, the lights in my house were cut, along with the internet, and immediately I heard the sound of someone trying to force open the door.


Read the full excerpt of Wang Yu’s story from The People’s Republic of the Disappeared at ChinaChange.

You can read Wang Yu’s story, her husband’s and that of many other victims of Residential Surveillance at a Designated Location in The People’s Republic of the Disappeared.

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