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China Turns Away Dissident's Kin

Police refused to allow the wife of a Chinese dissident to return to China from Germany, and forced the mother of another dissident to cut short a visit to Beijing, a human rights group said Tuesday.

Chinese citizens should have the right to travel freely and return to their country, New York-based Human Rights in China said in a statement. It called on President Clinton, who is visiting China, to do more to support better rights protection in China. reports on President Clinton's trip to China
Dissidents around China have used Mr. Clinton's nine-day visit to press for democratic change. Police have detained at least six democracy campaigners in the past week, although four have been released. The actions against family members, although routine by the repressive standards of China's police, were the first to be reported during the Clinton visit.

The family of jailed Chinese journalist Gao Yu also appealed to Mr. Clinton Tuesday to press for her release.

During a June 9 visit to Gao's prison outside Beijing, her son and father found that her heart trouble had worsened and her skin was covered with red, festering sores, the Hong Kong-based Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement said.

Gao, 55, has already served 4 and 1/2 years of her six-year prison term. Once a deputy editor-in-chief of an economics weekly, she was convicted in a secret trial in 1994 for leaking state secrets, apparently for writing about Communist Party politics for a Hong Kong magazine.

Tao Li, whose husband is a democracy activist in Inner Mongolia, arrived at Beijing airport on Sunday only to be turned away and sent back to Germany despite her travel documents, Human Rights in China said.

She was trying to visit her 74-year-old father, who suffers from cancer, it said.

Hu Suchan, whose son was involved in China's 1989 democracy protests, arrived in Beijing on June 22 from central Hubei province to buy medicine and collect a business debt. Police detained her and escorted her back to her home in Jingnan two days later, the group said.

Mrs. Hu's son, Yu Zhuo, was sentenced to two years in prison in 1992 for putting up posters calling for a re-evaluation of the military attack on protesters in Beijing on June 4, 1989. He died in a car accident in which a police officer accompanying him was unhurt, according to the rights group.

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