Sneaking up on me like a snake in the grass, International Children’s Day is today and is a day of great celebration for our little friends all over China, if not the world. However, for our family, the memories resonate with the ‘anniversary’ of Wu’s illegal and unjustified detention, well, official detention. In fact, he was taken in on the late afternoon of May 31st, harshly beaten, and kept in the police station over night. He was moved by police van to the Chaoyang District Criminal Detention Center on June 1, 2010, where he stayed until April 3rd, 2011, when he was released on ‘parole’ – the same day that Ai Weiwei and Wen Tao were taken in, kind of like a revolving door.
So, here we are a year on and Wu is still in legal limbo land. The authorities took in his passport and have not told him when his parole is up. It seems weird, however, that he should be on parole really, as he was never actually sentenced. Isn’t parole for good behavior AFTER a sentencing? I suppose that this is their way of ‘dealing’ with his case, as they were never able to produce any evidence of ‘violence against public service’ during BOTH trials – one that took place on Nov 17th, 2010 which resulted in being adjourned due to lack of evidence. The trial was reconvened on January 28th and after an hour of talks, that trial, too, was unable to produce reasonable evidence. We have been waiting for a sentence since. Parole being the sentence? Who knows.
Where am I? I see the long stretch as being somewhat over, just turning now into the last 1/4 mile … but there is the ‘fear’ that he could be dragged in again as they have him by the short and curlies, to be sure. I am off to Canada this July, sort of leaving China for awhile, going back to school, and getting on with my life. Dawu will stay here for the time being, as he can’t legally leave the country, and decide what he wants to do, work on his art and revitalize his art career. Hopefully the government will allow him ‘space’ to do that.
Hannah as been a super trouper through out all of this, and now even in knowing that we are leaving China for a while sans baba. She loves her baba and wants to be with him all the time, playing, reading, doing homework, clowning around, riding her bike, swimming, and hearing stories of where he was for the past year. Despite the parole being somewhat of a legal anomaly, it has allowed for Hannah and her baba to reunite and get back into their groove. As a mother and pr campaigner for Wu for almost 10 months, I can say that I was somewhat successful in achieving my goal. It was by far the most emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially draining ‘job’ I have ever had.
Thank you, everyone, for your love and support for the three of us over this past year, both on line and in person.
Stay tuned for more updates.