Home News Woman who defaced Xi Jinping poster 'not the same' after forced hospitalization

Woman who defaced Xi Jinping poster ‘not the same’ after forced hospitalization

Chinese authorities have freed a woman committed to a psychiatric hospital after she filmed herself splashing ink on a poster of President Xi Jinping during a social media protest.

Dong Yaoqiong was released from Zhuzhou No. 3 Hospital in central Hunan province about a month ago, her father Dong Jianbiao revealed recently, RFA reported.

The now 28-year-old found herself incarcerated in the hospital following the live-streamed ink protest on July 4, 2018 in which she accused Xi of heading up an “authoritarian tyranny.”

Her father, who was also detained for a while when he tried to visit her, said his daughter had become very withdrawn because of her incarceration.

“She’s changed. She used to be very lively, but now she’s not. She doesn’t really say much,” said Dong who saw his daughter for the first time since her release on New Year’s Eve.

Speaking to RFA, he said the character change was likely the result of the medication she was forced to take in the hospital.

Dong said he tried to ask her about her experiences in the hospital, but “she didn’t tell me anything.”

“Now I just want to help her return to the way she was before,” he added.

A still image of Dong Yaoqiong’s video of herself defacing the billboard of Chinese President Xi Jinping on July 4, 2018. (Image courtesy of Chinese Human Rights Defenders)
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Dong Yaoqiong’s “psychiatric” punishment was an attempt to stop her garnering a following after her protest attracted widespread support, according to Oner Ou Biaofeng, a human rights activist.

“It seems there are various medications that she is still taking, which would account for [the change in her personality],” he told RFA. 

He said this was being done to intimidate into not speaking out in public again.

“The illegal detention [of Dong Yaoqiong] in a psychiatric hospital comes from their fears of anyone who protests, and it’s meant to create a climate of fear,” he said.

Other activists claim Dong Yaoqiong was sent for psychiatric treatment because she accused the communist authorities of exerting “oppressive brain control,” in her live-streamed protest before splashing the ink over the Xi poster.

“What I want to say is that I am using my real name to oppose Xi Jinping’s tyranny and dictatorship, and the oppressive brain control perpetrated on me by the Chinese Communist Party,” she said in her protest.

The use of state-run health institutions to incarcerate political dissidents, activists, and petitioners in China is well documented, including in a 2002 report Dangerous Minds by Human Rights Watch.

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