Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Silencing the Voices of Gaoping's Searching Birth Families
Things have not been going well for the families from Gaoping who have been seeking information about their confiscated children. As we reported here, the story of Family Planning confiscations in the Shaoyang orphanage area was known in the West as a result of our initial highlighting of the story in 2006, and a documentary broadcast by Netwerk TV in the Netherlands. But coverage inside China was non-existent until Caixin Magazine published a series of in-depth articles last month.
Although the reporter from Caixin Magazine has sought to make contact with the adoptive families of these children by having contact information forwarded to adoption newsgroups, so far none have come forward. As a result, frustration and anger has grown among the score of birth families, and they decided to file a lawsuit against the Shaoyang orphanage and the area Civil Affairs to obtain an official apology and information as to the destination of their children.
A story out today details the latest twist in the Gaoping saga. On June 21, Yang Li Bing and Zhou Yinghe, the appointed representatives of the Gaoping family group, filed "a petition regarding the case of the missing children in Shaoyang City." Later that same day they were approached by a man who claimed that his child was also confiscated, and who asked if he could join forces with Yang Li Bing's group in seeking redress. This individual, ostensibly named Li Hongfu, asked the two men to remain in Shaoyang while the other birth families from Gaoping returned home. After a dinner, he invited the two men to go with him to a local massage parlor. Shortly after they arrived, police busted the place and made only two arrests: Yang Li Bing and Zhou Yinghe.
An investigation into Li Hongfu's ID card revealed that the identity was manufactured, and that this person didn't really exist.
Yang Li Bing and Zhou Yinghe are both being held for 15 days, during which time it is clear that they will "pressured" to stop making trouble for the orphanage and Family Planning officials. Already government officials have been busy convincing the other families to stop working with Yang Li Bing. Slowly but surely the inevitable pressures put on these families will force them to stop seeking their children, and to disappear like so many previous families have done.