The husband of a woman who was forced to have an abortion at seven months for violating China’s one child policy has reportedly disappeared.
A photo of Feng Jiamei lying next to the body of her aborted child sparked global revulsion and triggered a probe headed by China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission.
According to the London Times, the couple have been subjected to continued “abusive treatment” since their ordeal and Deng Jiyuan's disappearance comes “after almost a week of bullying and taunting by local officials and hired thugs."
WARNING: VIDEO BELOW CONTAINS IMAGES THAT SOME VIEWERS MAY FIND DISTURBING
There are conflicting reports as to his whereabouts. According to The Times, Deng’s family fears he was abducted as he prepared to travel to Beijing to publicise the story. His sister told the paper: “The officials asked him to come with them for a talk but, since then, we have lost all contact with him.”
But a relative of Feng’s claims Deng is now in hiding, the BBC said.
Shortly after the image went viral, Deng told The Global Times: “The county detained my wife in a rented house on May 30. She almost killed herself out of panic.”
He said five men forcibly delivered a poisonous injection three days later to his blindfolded wife after making her sign an agreement to have the abortion.
The Zhenping county family planning bureau initially denied the claims and said the abortion was carried out with the family’s consent.
It added Feng, who gave birth to a daughter in 2007, agreed to undergo induced labour on June 2, China.org said.
But the investigation found officials used “crude means” in persuading Feng to agree to the abortion, the Xinhua news agency said.
It added the head of the family planning bureau in Zhenping county has been sacked and another official has been reprimanded, while Feng's family is set to be offered compensation.
US-based activists claimed Feng, 23, was forced to have the termination because she couldn’t pay the £4,000 ($6,320) fine for having a second child, the BBC said.
China brought in a one child policy as a means of slowing the birth rate in 1979. It restricts married, urban couples to having one child, with exemptions allowed for rural couples, ethnic minorities and parents without siblings.