Imprisoned Rights Lawyer Wang Quanzhang Gets First Family Visit in Four Years

Online article by Li Wenzu, wife of imprisoned Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang. Held incommunicado for three years, Wang Quanzhang was finally tried in December 2018, convicted of “subversion of state power” and sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison. Original Chinese text follows the English translation.

I Finally Got to See My Husband Wang Quanzhang

The police led me, along with our son Quanquan and my sister-in-law Wang Quanxiu, into the conference room.

I stared at the man seated behind the glass wall and was able to recognize him as Wang Quanzhang. Excited, I smiled and waved but he only looked at me out of the corner of his eye without any expression and turned his head away from me. I started to get anxious but there as no time for that so I hurriedly sat down and picked up the telephone. Quanzhang, still expressionless, put his head down and dialed the phone.

I struggled to hold back the feelings flooding through me. Looking him in the face, I laughed, “Husband, long time no see…

Quanzhang’s eyes didn’t seem to focus. He didn’t look me in the eye. He stared with an empty gaze. I couldn’t tell what he was looking at. He slowly replied, “Long time no see.”
I quickly put our child in front of me, saying, “Quanquan, talk to Daddy.” When Quanzhang saw our son, the corners of his lips budged a little. That must have been a smile.

Quanquan excitedly called out “Daddy!” and asked, “Daddy have you been getting enough to eat?” Quanzhang replied slowly, “I am eating well. I eat fried dishes, steamed buns, steamed stuff buns, and I get supplemental meals too. I get everything I need…”

I picked up our son and my sister-in-law Wang Quanxiu took the phone and asked, “What do they give you for your supplemental meals?”

Quanzhang listened to Quanxiu’s question, looked me in the eye and then looked to one side. His expression again became wooden. From his mouth emerged a mumbled “What do they give for me for supplemental meals…”

Quanzhang started to scratch his head as if he were lost in deep, painful thought. He shook his bald head back and forth.

Suddenly, Quanzhang got anxious. His voice climbed an octave as he said, “I’m fine! Jail is very good for me! It’s not at all the way you think it is!!”

I hurriedly took the telephone back from Quanxiu and started to calm him down. “Quanzhang, don’t get excited, don’t get excited. Talk more slowly..”

Quanzhang got even more agitated. He looked away from my line of sight, lowered his head and chattered away, “I’m fine! I’m fine! Jail is very good for me. I have gotten fat. My high blood pressure is better now. I don’t even need to take medicine! Now I just take a calcium tablet. I take one every day. I have good living accomodations too…”

I started to cry, seeing Quanzhang’s thin face. He is 5’10”. Before he weighed 200 pounds. Was he really fat now? He was fair skinned before but now not only has his entire face darkened but the skin on his hands is dark too. Before he had two perfectly aligned front teeth. Now, to my surprise, I saw a wide chink between them.

I couldn’t stop crying. I just cried and cried. Quanquan sitting on my lap took tissue paper from my hands and wiped my tears. Quanzhang raised his head and looked me in the eye. His expression was still dull and wooden. He sat there and watched me cry as if I were a stranger and not the wife whom he hadn’t seen for four years.

My eyes blurred with tears, I looked at Quanzhang and now Quanzhang looked away again. I am his wife. Why doesn’t he look at me?

Quanzhang seemed to calm down a bit. He picked up a paper in front of him and said, “There is something I have to explain to you. I was afraid that I wouldn’t remember it so I wrote it down on paper.”

I listened intently to hear what he was about to tell me. Quanzhang began to speak rapidly, “I am worried about you… You shouldn’t be doing this. I think that it was becase Bian Xiaohui asked to see her husband in prison that she was detained. I am worried about you. Don’t do anything…”

(The case of Bian Xiaohui occurred before Quanzhang went to prison. Bian Xiaohui is a university student whose father was deprived of the right to receive visitors in prison because the father practiced Falung Gong. Bian insisted that a lawyer meet with his father and demonstrated in the street with a sign to protest. Bian was arrested and sentenced to four years in prison.)

Quanzhang kept saying over and over that he was worried about me, keeping his eye on the paper the whole time. Then he stopped as if he didn’t know what more to say and was looked for it on the piece of paper.

I quickly reassured him, “I am fine, Quanzhang. I am fine.”

Quanzhang again started to get agitated. He stared at the paper. He looked very troubled. His voice got higher again. “Don’t do this. I am worried about you. Take care of Quanquan, make sure he does well in school. This could have a bad effect on Quanquan!”

I comforted him, saying “Quanquan is fine, don’t worry about him!”
Quanzhang bowed his head, not looking at me, saying in a low voice, “This is bad for Quanquan. You don’t see it! You don’t know!”


I was astonished at Quanzhang’s reaction. He picked up the paper and turned it over and over in his hands. He didn’t look at me again. I saw that the paper was densely packed with his handwriting. His eyes didn’t see me. He looked down at nothing in particular. No matter what I said, he wouldn’t accept it.

Quanquan, sitting next to me, couldn’t take it anymore. He grabbed the telephone to soothe his father, “Daddy, I am fine. I am really fine!” Quanzhang seemed not to have heard what Quanquan said. Out of his mouth still came that mumbling, “You can’t see it! You don’t know….”

Again I couldn’t help myself. I cried again.

The telephone beeped. Quanzhang said woodenly, “We have one more minute.”

Quanquan yelled, “Daddy, I love you!”. Quanzhang seemed robot-like as he responded woodenly in an even tone, “I love you too.”

The connection was cut off. Quanzhang got up. We got up too. The child put in hand on the glass. Quanzhang, with a wooden expression on his face, put his hand on the glass as well. Then he turned and left. I watched my eyes full of tears as his back receded some ten or so meters away. My tears flowed again. Four years. Astonishingly, he resembled nothing more than a well-programmed but rather dull wooden man. He didn’t even look back at his own wife and child.

Li Wenzu
June 28, 2019, at 8:30 pm in Linyi

May They Soon Be Reunited 早日团圆

drawing by Chinese artist Badiucao https://twitter.com/badiucao reproduced here with permission of the artist.

Chinese original text: https://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1squasr

Prison Visit Ticket from Jianyi Prison, Shandong Province for a 30-minute visit on June 28, 2019 to prisoner Prisoner serial number 371503940 Wang Quanzhang, in the newly received prisoner section of the prison, by two relatives [elder sister] Wang Quanxiu and [wife] Liu Wenzu.

[Photos below from public entry of Wang Quanzhang wife Li Wenzu’s Facebook page.]

Linyi Shandong Province Prison Visitor Card
Reverse side of visit card from Linyi Shandong Provincial Prison
“The bearer should know:
1. The bearer should obey rules set for the visit.
2 During visitor processing, present this card and your national ID card.
3. This card is personal and may not be transferred to another person.

我终于见到了王全璋

我拉着儿子泉泉,和全秀姐一起被警察带着走进会见大厅。
我眼睛紧紧盯着玻璃墙里面坐着的男人,认出了那就是全璋。我激动地朝他笑并挥手。但是他瞟了我一眼,没有表情,还把头扭向一边不看我。我心里紧了一下,但顾不上多想,赶紧坐下,拿起电话。全璋没有表情,低着头,开始拨电话。
我努力平复着翻江倒海的心情,看着他的脸,笑着说:“老公,好久不见了……”
全璋的目光仿佛没有焦距,并没有与我四目相对。他目光空洞,不知道看向哪里,慢慢回了一声:“好久不见。”
我赶紧把孩子推到前面,说:“泉泉,叫爸爸。”全璋看见儿子,嘴角微微上挑了一下,算是笑了一下。
泉泉兴奋地叫了一声爸爸,说:“爸爸你吃得好吗?”全璋慢慢地回答:“吃得好,有炒菜,有馒头,有包子,有加餐,什么都有…..”我抱着儿子,全秀姐拿过话筒,问了一句:“加餐都加的什么?”
全璋听了全秀姐问话,朝我看了一眼,目光又转到一边,表情又回到木木的,嘴里喃喃道:“加餐加了什么……”
全璋开始挠头,仿佛陷入痛苦地思考中,左右晃着自己的光头。
突然,全璋一下子焦躁起来,说话声音都高了八度:“我很好!监狱对我很好!不是你们想的那样!!”
我赶紧从全秀姐手机里接过电话,开始安抚他:“全璋,别着急,别着急,慢慢说…..”

全璋更焦躁了,眼睛避开我的视线,低头不住地反反复复唠叨:“我很好!我很好!监狱对我很好!我长胖了。我高血压好了。我不吃药了!现在吃钙片,每天都吃。我住的也很好…..”
我眼泪流了下来,看着全璋瘦削的脸,他身高176,以前可是180斤的体重啊。他这叫胖了?他的皮肤本来是白皙的,但是现在除了脸变得很黑,手上的皮肤都是黑的了。他本来整整齐齐的两颗大门牙,中间竟然有了极宽的牙缝。
我的眼泪一直流,一直流。坐在我怀里的泉泉把我手里捏的纸巾掏出来,给我擦眼泪。全璋抬头看了我一眼。他的表情依然是呆滞的、麻木的。他看着我流泪,仿佛在看一个外人,而不是他四年未见的妻子。
我泪眼模糊地看着全璋,全璋又把视线移开了。我是他妻子,为什么他不看我呢??

全璋好像平静了一点儿,拿起了一直摊在他面前的一张纸,说:“我有事要交代你。我怕自己记不住,就写到纸上。”
我竖起耳朵,想听他交代事情。全璋开口,急促地说:“我担心你……你别做了…….你看卞晓晖就是要求会见,就被抓了。我担心你……你什么都不要做了…….”
(卞晓晖是全璋以前的当事人,是个大学生,自己父亲因练法轮功被剥夺会见权,卞坚持要求律师会见父亲,举牌抗议,就被抓了。判了四年。)

全璋反复说担心我,眼睛却盯着那张纸。说完一句,好像不知道再说什么,眼睛就在纸上找。
我赶紧安抚全璋:“没事,全璋。我没事……”
全璋又开始暴躁了起来,眼睛盯着纸,很痛苦的样子。嗓门再一次提高:“你不要做,我担心你。带好泉泉,让泉泉好好上学。泉泉受影响,对泉泉不好!”
我安慰他:“泉泉很好,你别担心!”
全璋低着头,不看我,低吼了起来:“泉泉不好,你看不出来!你不知道!”
我被全璋的反应惊住了。他拿的那张纸,他放在手中翻来覆去地,他再没看一眼。我看见上面密密麻麻写满了字。他眼睛不看我,无目的地看着地下 ,我说什么他似乎都无法接收。
泉泉在我旁边忍不住了,抓过电话,安抚着爸爸:“爸爸,我很好。真的很好!”全璋仿佛没有听见泉泉的话,嘴中依然叨叨着:“你看不出来。你不知道……..”
我眼泪再一次控制不住地流出来。
这时电话里“嘀”的一声,全璋木木地说了一句:“还有一分钟了。”
泉泉喊了一句:“爸爸,我爱你!”全璋仿佛机器人一般,木木地回复了语调平直的一句:“我也爱你。”

话筒里没声音了。全璋站起身,我们也站起身。孩子把手贴在玻璃上,全璋表情木木地也把手在玻璃窗上放了一下,然后转身,走了。十几米的路,我看着他的背影,眼泪又流了出来:四年了,他竟然像编好程序的呆滞的木头人,连回头看我们母子一眼都没有。

李文足
2019年6月28日晚8:30于临沂

About 高大伟 David Cowhig

Retired now, translated Liao Yiwu's 2019 "Bullets and Opium", and studying some things. Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
This entry was posted in Famous Chinese Political Court Cases 中国政治名案, Law 法律, Politics 政治, Society 社会 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Imprisoned Rights Lawyer Wang Quanzhang Gets First Family Visit in Four Years

  1. Pingback: "I Finally Got to See My Husband Wang Quanzhang" | | TimesDirect.TV

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  3. Pingback: Avocats en danger : ce qu’ils deviennent – La tribune – avocats.be

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