The mother of an imprisoned and tortured 21-year-old man in China sought help through social media when police knocked on her door. Coco (pseudonym) said in a recent interview with the Chinese Epoch Times that she feared losing her own life, so she didn’t open the door.
“This is Tengyu’s mother. Hurry! They’re knocking on the door outside,” she pleaded in a recording of her whispering voice. The recorded message in Chinese circulated on Twitter Wednesday morning.
A policeman’s voice heard in the background shouts, “Police visiting; open the door!”
Coco’s son, Niu Tengyu, has been in prison since 2019 and repeatedly beaten for allegedly posting photos and identification numbers of Xi Mingze, Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s daughter.
Niu was abducted in July 2019 and sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” by Maoming Maonan District People’s Court in China’s southern Guangdong Province last December.
While being detained, he was given the code name “MM20,” Coco said.
Niu’s current defense lawyer issued a letter of complaint against authorities for torturing Niu to extract a confession, detailing tactics such as locking him in a small black room, hanging and whipping him with only his toes on the ground, dripping hot wax on his skin, stripping him naked and taking photos, forcing him to kowtow to police, humiliating punishments, beatings, and burning his private parts with a lighter.
On May 5, after meeting with her son at the local Maoming No. 1 Detention Center, Coco went to Luocun Hospital in Guangzhou, where Niu was admitted for serious injury, to investigate the truth about the torture.
A person from the hospital told her, “When this young man [Niu] was carried in, he was pop-eyed. His breathing was quite difficult. He could not speak, only nodding and shaking his head while being asked questions … gasping for breath.”
Other staff told Coco they had been informed by hospital leaders that talking to investigators about MM20’s case would result in serious consequences.
Coco believes that her visit to the hospital was unsettling to the authorities, who are afraid of the truth coming to light, because she had never before experienced intimidation from the police.
The police officers kept shouting and knocking on her door for around four hours, she said, starting at 8 a.m on Wednesday, then restarting at around 1 p.m.
Since Tuesday night (May 11), her SIM card has been disconnected from the network, and she can’t make purchases through her account on Taobao, a Chinese online shopping platform.
Niu’s sentence caused an unacknowledged blow to his grandparents, who eventually passed away one after the other. This chain of events has brought about great mental anguish for Coco and her physical health took a sharp turn for the worse. She has become nearly blind and injured her legs in a fall.
She wondered whether she would be released alive if she gets arrested.
Meanwhile, the scared mother insisted that Niu had no involvement in the doxxing, as the information of Xi’s family had first appeared on two other similar sites based overseas.
She appealed to the outside world to pay attention to her safety. “If I’m arrested, I hope that everyone will continue to seek justice for my child,” she said.
Hong Ning contributed to this report.