Thursday, 14 August 2008

Lawyers win stay of execution for Chinese activist

Lawyers win stay of execution for Chinese activist
MARTIN WILLIAMS August 08 2008

A legal team supporting a Chinese trade unionist and her two-year-old son, who face deportation back to China after five years in Scotland, have won a stay of execution to stop her from leaving.

Birmingham-based solicitors Harvey Son & Filby, who specialise in Chinese law, lodged a High Court judicial review yesterday at the High Court in London to stop the deportation of Qin Wang and her son Jian Qi Lin.

They are expected to use European human rights legislation to argue her case.

Qin Wang and her son were at Heathrow Airport awaiting a 1.30pm flight out of Britain to China when news of the stay of execution came through and she was taken back to a detention centre.

A close friend, Jing Wu, said: "We are very pleased that the lawyer has managed to stop her leaving because he did not have a lot of time.

"There is still more for the lawyer to do though if they are to come back to Glasgow."

Friends who have visited her in detention said Qin Wang, who lived in Sandyhills, Glasgow, talked of killing herself rather than returning to China, where she says she was beaten and indecently assaulted by police when detained in connection with outlawed union activities.

The mother and son were due to be flown back to China from Heathrow yesterday, on the eve of the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Qin Wang's solicitors claim the Home Office took issue with the activist "going underground" for four years - scared she would be sent back to China - after first registering as an asylum seeker when she arrived in 2003.

She re-registered in 2007 but failed to convince the Home Office of her refugee status.

Qin Wang, who gave birth to her son in Glasgow, says she suffered torture and was indecently assaulted before managing to escape one of the many political prisons in China after she was arrested for her part in agitating for workers to get redundancy payments when an electronics factory in the Fujian district closed.

She was detained without notice by the Home Office last Friday and went on hunger strike at Dungavel before being transferred to a detention centre near Heathrow.

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