China/USA: Second Hong Kong film on mainland China’s ‘709’ human rights crackdown shows lives of families seeking asylum in US

June 24, 2018

Documentary produced by two local journalists marks third anniversary of July 9 round-up in 2015 that involved more than 300 people

 Image result for 709 crackdown

On a late summer night in 2017, a Chinese asylum seeker sat alone on the stairs of her home in California, battling insomnia and depression, thinking to herself that perhaps her troubles would end if she died in a car crash.

But Jin Bianling – the wife of human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong, who has been jailed in Henan, mainland China, following the so-called 709 crackdown – has not given up on making speeches and giving testimony in the United States to seek help for her husband.

Jin’s plight and thoughts, along with other untold stories of how several “709 wives” escaped China with their young children to seek asylum in the US, are documented in a film produced by two independent Hong Kong journalists to mark the third anniversary of the crackdown in July 9, 2015.

More than 300 human rights lawyers, activists and their family members have been arrested, detained, prosecuted or imprisoned over the past three years.

Jiang was convicted and jailed for two years for “inciting subversion of state power” in 2017 – nine months after he was secretly arrested.

Titled 709 The Other Shore, the two-hour documentary, to be released in July, is the second one on the subject produced by Lo King-wah and Kong King-chu, who spent three years interviewing and filming more than 20 individuals caught in the crackdown.

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