Monday, Oct 20, 2014Monday, Oct 20, 2014
Asia
 

Chinese dissidents 'forced' to go on luxury holidays - with minders

Published on Jun 26, 2014 11:24 AM
 
Activist Xu Xiangyu (left) and her husband (2nd left, partly obscured) at lunch in March 2011 with court and police officials who escorted her on a forced vacation to China's southern Hainan Island. Xu is one of dozens of campaigners who rights groups say have been forced on vacation -- sometimes featuring swish hotels beside sun-drenched beaches, trips to tourist sites and lavish dinners - courtesy of the Chinese authorities. -- PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - As top Communist leaders gathered in Beijing, veteran Chinese political activist He Depu was obliged to leave town - for an all-expenses-paid holiday to the tropical island of Hainan, complete with police escorts.

It is an unusual method of muzzling dissent, but He is one of dozens of campaigners who rights groups say have been forced on vacation - sometimes featuring luxurious hotels beside sun-drenched beaches, trips to tourist sites and lavish dinners - courtesy of the authorities.

It happens so often that dissidents have coined a phrase for it: "being travelled".

He, 57, had not been charged with any crime, but officers took him 2,300km to Hainan for 10 days to ensure he was not in the capital for this year's annual meeting of China's legislature, he said.

 
If you are not a subscriber, you can get instant, unlimited access here

Videos