April 26, 2017
“I will be back within 24 hours.”
That was the last thing Liberty University student Chongyu Xia recalled his father saying as security officials escorted him out of their Beijing home.
That also was the last time Chongyu Xia saw his father.
It’s now been 900 days since his father was taken, according to Chongyu Xia’s recently released petition meant to urge the Embassy of China in Washington, D.C., to broker the release of his father, Xia Lin, a human rights lawyer.
Xia Lin was arrested Nov. 8, 2014, accused of “gambling and fraud,” according to the Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), a coalition of Chinese and international human rights non-governmental organizations dedicated to the promotion of human rights through peaceful efforts, according to its website. According to a CHRD letter to the United Nations, Xia Lin was accused of defrauding $1.5 million to pay off debts incurred through a gambling addiction.