Source: NYT (10/20/20)
In China, the Formidable Prosecutor Turned Lonely Rights Defender
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After sheltering a prominent dissident, Yang Bin, a former prosecutor, is now under the scrutiny of the police. But she has no regrets.
By Amy Qin
Yang Bin was at home when two dozen Chinese police surrounded her house and entered, searching for the man she had recently taken in as a houseguest. Filing in quickly, the officers found their suspect upstairs and arrested him, ending a weekslong manhunt.
The police also detained Ms. Yang for questioning. They wanted to know how Xu Zhiyong, one of China’s most outspoken government critics, had come to find refuge with her, a Communist Party member and former government prosecutor.
For Ms. Yang, the turn of events came with no small irony. In her old job, she had escorted death row prisoners to a police station near the one in which she was being interrogated, in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. This time she was regarded as a suspect, and the police had also taken her husband and 20-year-old son.
“Even though I was being questioned like a criminal, I knew in my heart I hadn’t done anything wrong,” Ms. Yang, 50, who was later released with her family, said in a recent telephone interview from her home on Seagull Island, a rural area on the outskirts of Guangzhou. “When many people look at the system, they see its strength. When I look at it, I see only its fragility.” Continue reading