Authorities in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong are holding a veteran democracy activist under unofficial house arrest to prevent him from standing as independent candidate in forthcoming local elections to his district People’s Congress. Retired university lecturer Sun Wenguang, 82, has been unable to leave his home in Shandong’s provincial capital Jinan since last Friday. Video seen by RFA from last week showed him canvassing potential voters and handing out leaflets on the campus of Shandong University, surrounding by unidentified men that Sun refers to as “state security police.” In a later video, Sun is shown arguing with a man in a leather jacket who prevents him from getting into the lift outside his apartment, and asks him where he is going. “It’s none of your business where I’m going,” retorts Sun. “This is a violation of my personal rights; you are not even in police uniform. What department are you from?”
Sun said he has now been prevented from registering his candidacy, as the deadline for initial registration passed at 5 p.m. local time on Wednesday. “There are five or six people outside my home, and two of them are on my floor, preventing me from going downstairs,” he told RFA. “There are another three or four downstairs blocking the exit.”
“They stop me from leaving if I try to go downstairs,” he said. “They are there round the clock, even through the night.”
“Effectively, I am being imprisoned in a black jail … They sent around a dozen police officers to my house on Dec. 2 when we were canvassing on the university campus,” Sun said. “But the police dispatched 20 or 30 officers to surround me on campus, so that I was being followed by more than a dozen of them wherever I went,” he said.