China criticizes Germany for helping activist
20 June 2006
BEIJING – China criticized Germany’s intervention with the care of an activist left paralysed following a severe beating, saying it was an internal matter, an official said Tuesday.
“This happened in China,” said foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu. Authorities have initiated an inquiry into the attack and the hospital is actively treating him, she said, adding that “they don’t wish to be disturbed.”
Yu was reacting to questions about assistance provided by the German embassy to Fu Xiancai, a long-time campaigner for Three Gorges Dam residents who was attacked on June 8, shortly after being questioned by local police over an interview he gave to German television ARD about his campaign.
The hospital had refused to operate on Fu, left paralysed from the neck down, for over a week because his family could not afford to pay the 60,000 yuan (7,500 dollar) bill.
Fu underwent a two-hour surgery Sunday after a German diplomat and the embassy physician travelled to the hospital in Yichang city, in China’s central Hubei province and paid for the operation.
Fu’s condition suddenly worsened after post-operative complications developed Tuesday.
The campaigner had to have an incision into his airways (tracheotomy) after developing pneumonia, his son told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa by telephone from Beijing.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu wouldn’t comment on whether or not the investigation into the attack on Fu concluded if it was linked to his campaigning for Three Gorges Dam residents who say they were cheated out of compensation and housing when they were resettled from the area.
“Until the truth has been found out it is too early to jump to any conclusions,” said Yu.
Fu, a farmer and the sole breadwinner in his family, which includes two sons, was left paralysed from the neck down by the attack and is not likely ever to regain full mobility.
Also Tuesday, Human Rights in China (HRIC), in a statement released in New York, urged the Chinese authorities to ensure that Fu is provided with any disability subsidies for medical treatment and financial support authorized under Chinese law, and to carry out a thorough and transparent inquiry into his attack.
The attack followed harassment and threats against Fu over the course of more than a year, sometimes reportedly involving individual Public Security Bureau officials, according to HRIC.
Subject: German news