don't expect help from the law in china, if you're

  1. 6,931 Posts.
    Saturday, November 20, 2004

    A life is at stake, says detainee's wife
    Businessman has been held on the mainland illegally for four years and no one has helped, she claims


    BENJAMIN WONG

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    Kwong Ching-yuen

    A Hong Kong businessman has been unlawfully detained by mainland authorities for almost four years in relation to a multimillion-dollar insurance claim, his wife said yesterday.
    And a group helping her has criticised the Hong Kong government for not doing enough to help its citizens being held in similar situations.

    "We don't really want to speak out about such an incident because it would be so embarrassing for the mainland authorities, but a life is at stake here," said Kwong Sheh Ming-chuen, the wife of 57-year-old Kwong Ching-yuen.

    She said her husband - who works for a food trading company in Hong Kong - had been detained since April 2001 when seven plain-clothes officers from Henan Public Security Bureau took him away from Beijing.

    According to Mrs Kwong, her husband was negotiating with representatives from an insurance company there over a US$1.2 million payout.

    The payment was for a shipment of peanuts that turned bad while being transported from the mainland to the Netherlands in 1994.

    But when negotiations broke down "seven burly men stormed the room and took him away", said Mrs Kwong. Her husband was then taken back to a detention centre in Henan , where she has never been able to visit him.

    Kwong was subsequently charged twice, first for insurance fraud and the second time for fabrication of documents. But Mrs Kwong said each time the proceedings were halted as courts in Henan were about to pass judgment that - she presumed - would find her husband not guilty.

    And since the court had not delivered a ruling, he remains behind bars while the affair drags on.

    The government's Security Bureau - whose officials met Mrs Kwong yesterday - said they would continue to offer assistance.

    The Society for Community Organisation, which is helping Mrs Kwong and the families of people in more than 30 other similar cases, said they felt the Hong Kong government had used "one country, two systems" as an excuse for not speaking out against the injustices that befall Hongkongers on the mainland.

    Its director, Ho Hei-wah, said the government should be more willing to speak out and help its citizens instead of working as a "courier" that merely received and forwarded documents between the mainland authorities and the families of those detained.

    Last night a spokesman for the Security Bureau said: "The SAR government is very concerned about the lawful rights of Hong Kong people detained in the mainland. But under the `one country, two systems' principle we would not interfere with the laws and judiciary system of the mainland when offering help. We have been actively following all the cases, informing the relevant mainland authorities, using existing mechanisms, of the demands and pleas of the persons involved so they could be considered."


 
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