The husband of a Chinese woman who claims she was forced to abort her baby by authorities in Shaanxi province has gone into hiding.
Associated Press says that Deng Jicai believes her brother, Deng Jiyuan, 30, was beaten following international outcry over the case, which became a major talking point after photos of Feng Jianmei, 23, lying next to the aborted fetus were circulated online. He disappeared over the weekend, but has since called to say he is safe, says AFP, though he did not reveal his whereabouts.
Deng Jicai also claims that the local government has organized a backlash against the family members,and is keeping them under surveillance. "We are already heartbroken from losing the baby. How did we become traitors?” she is quoted as saying.
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The NY Times explains that Feng had to go through with the termination on June 2 when she was seven months into her pregnancy, because she did not pay a hefty fine for breaching China's strict "One Child" population control policy.
The officials Xinhua news agency said that an investigation had concluded that the termination had violated Feng's rights. Authorities apologized and the head of the family planning bureau was removed from his post.
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However, The Guardian reports that relatives say they are still being followed, another cousin was attacked, and over the weekend Feng's hospital was targeted by protesters carrying banners which read: "Beat the traitors and expel them."
"Things seem to be getting worse for the family, as some local officials have to take responsibility for this incident, and it will be criminal responsibility. They are panicking," the family's lawyer Zhang Kai told the newspaper.