Archive for August, 2009

Xinna Statement on August 8, 2009

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

On July 28, this year, I took the train to visit my husband Hada in Chifeng Prison. I arrived there on the second day, July 29.
When I got to the prison it was around 9:00 am. I had to wait. They (the prison authorities) were busy with setting up their equipments for recording and video taping. I was allowed to enter the prison around 10:40 am. Apparently, their surveillance facilities have improved a lot compared to last time. In the main lobby, within 60-70 meters range, there are a line of surveillance studios full of recording, monitoring and video taping equipments that are much more sophisticated then previously.
After a long wait, Hada slowly came out from his prison cell. He looked much thinner although his mental status appeared to be better than last time. As we started our conversation, I asked about his health condition. He is taking vitamins. His feet are still numb with pain. But I felt that his mental and spiritual status looked much better than before. He mentioned that he is hearted by the fact that his prison term will end in a little more than one year. One of the reasons his health condition had deteriorated in the past was that he always felt that the prison meals had some suspicious ingredients. He stopped eating prison meals for a while. But he has been allowed to buy snacks and food from a kitchen that is separate from the one he was given food from. I gave him 2000 yuan this time, so that he can buy some instant noodles, peanuts, and some other snacks. He said there is some buckwheat food available, and he is allowed to buy some meat and ask the kitchen to prepare it for him. This way, at least he feels safer than before. I told him not to worry about money. As long as he feels better we will try our best to provide him enough to spend on food. He is hoping that things will be better after his release.
Currently prisoner authorities do not provide him with any medical treatment, and no medicine is allowed to be brought in.
Now he is allowed to read several newspapers including “Southern Weekend” (nan fang zhou mo), Reference Daily (can kao xiao xi), and Mongolian version of “Inner Mongolia Daily” that I ordered for him.
“Southern Weekend” was occasionally confiscated.
He also praised Obama Administration’s strategy toward China. It looks like that he was able to follow the story of recent negotiation between the United States and China.
Regarding Mongolian herders’ issues, he said he read some articles about this. He mentioned that it is a good trend that even some ethnic Mongolian cadres are raising these issues. Even though some books I tried to bring in were not allowed, he will not be totally left uninformed as long as he has something to read.
I also mentioned to him about the recent Uyghur uprising. He said it is a reflection of ethnic problem, which I also agree with him.
I emphasized the importance of his health condition. Good health is foundation of everything.
The reason I ordered the Mongolian version of “Inner Mongolia Daily” is that he can read in his mother tongue. Hada asked me not to work too hard due to my heart problem. I told him the only thing he needs to do after his release is to write his prison experience.
This time I also mentioned to him that recently the PEN Center in Canada talked to me over the phone and expressed their concern about his health situation.
During this visit, I felt much better about Hada’s improved mental condition and I had a sense of relief. Let us wait for his day of freedom, which is not too far off now.

Click to listen to the interview in Chinese
MP3 file