Chinese Doctor Who Questioned Brother's Death Evicted From Her Home

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Gynecologist Zhang Weichu, who was terminated by the Vanke Hospital in Qingyuan, Guangdong on Aug. 31 because she had made politically "sensitive" comments online, in undated photo.
Gynecologist Zhang Weichu, who was terminated by the Vanke Hospital in Qingyuan, Guangdong on Aug. 31 because she had made politically "sensitive" comments online, in undated photo.
Zhang Weichu

A doctor in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong has been evicted from her home along with her young son after losing her job earlier this year because she made "anti-government" comments online.

Gynecologist Zhang Weichu was forced to leave her rented accommodation in Guangdong's provincial capital Guangzhou along with her three-year-old son after police put pressure on her landlady, according to fellow activists.

"The landlady of her apartment in Panyu [district] was subjected to harassment by the authorities ... who ordered her not to rent to Zhang," Zhang's friend and fellow activist Liang Songji told RFA. "The landlady had no choice but to talk to Zhang and say she couldn't keep her on as a tenant."

Zhang, who is currently lodging at Liang's home, indicated that she is trying to negotiate with the Guangzhou state security police to be allowed to remain in the city, both to work and to rent accommodation.

"They said that I mustn't talk about this to anyone," she said, declining to comment further.

Liang said Zhang has been unable to secure another job as a doctor since being fired from the Vanke Hospital in Guangdong's Qingyuan city on Aug. 31, and fears she will be barred from such work in the future.

"She is eating into her savings, and also getting financial support from friends," Liang said. "I'm pretty certain that the authorities want her to go back to her hometown [in the central province of Hubei], but the Hubei authorities probably don't want her back there."

Brother's death

Zhang's activism began after her brother Zhang Liumao was reported dead by authorities in the police-run Guangzhou No. 3 Detention Center in the early hours of Nov. 4, 2015, prompting suspicions from his family that he was tortured.

Zhang Liumao's lawyer was able to view his client's body shortly afterwards, and reported that it showed multiple signs of severe physical assault.

However, both Zhang, a specialist gynecologist with more than two decades' experience, and her sister have been targeted by the authorities for speaking out about their suspicions.

Fellow Guangzhou rights activist Li Fei said he has been similarly targeted by the Guangzhou authorities, losing his job last September after posting "sensitive" items online.

He says he has been hounded from his rented accommodation too, thanks to being person of interest on China's "stability maintenance" system of control and surveillance.

"When you move to a new place, the police immediately come to visit you there and check your ID," Li said. "Pretty soon, the landlord would be asking me to leave, hinting that they have been put under pressure [by the authorities]."

"Usually it's because pressure has been put on the local police station or the neighborhood committee," he said. "Now I am working odd jobs. It's unlikely that I will ever land a proper job in a company, working nine-to-five, now."

"I used to be in senior management, on a pretty good salary, but nobody would dare to hire me now," he said.

Reported by Gao Feng for RFA's Mandarin Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.





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