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World The AP Interview: Ex-Interpol wife takes on China government

11:10  18 november  2021
11:10  18 november  2021 Source:   msn.com

Wife of Missing Chinese Official Calls Government a 'Monster,' 'They Eat Their Children'

  Wife of Missing Chinese Official Calls Government a 'Monster,' 'They Eat Their Children' "During the past three years, I learned—just like we know how to live with the COVID—I know how to live with the monster, the authority," Grace Meng said.She now lives with her twin boys in France as a political refugee under around-the-clock surveillance, what she believes is an attempt by Chinese agents to kidnap them.

LYON, France ( AP ) — The wife of the former Interpol president who is being detained in China on bribery charges says she's been contacted by Chinese diplomats, who have told her they're holding a letter from him for her. China 's move to secretly detain the Interpol president, an official with international standing, was an unusually audacious action even for an administration that under Xi's leadership has sought to assert its interests aggressively on the global stage. Grace Meng says she is speaking out about her husband's case, at risk to herself, not just to defend him but also to highlight

LYON, France ( AP ) — The wife of the former Interpol president who is being detained in China on bribery charges says she’s been contacted by Chinese diplomats, who have told her they’re holding a letter from him for her. Grace Meng says, however, that she’ll only agree to meet Chinese She has been living under French police protection in the French city of Lyon, where Interpol is headquartered, since she reported that her husband went missing while on a trip to China in late September. “They said my husband wrote a letter to me,” she said in an interview Friday with The Associated Press in Lyon.

LYON, France (AP) — In China, she enjoyed the privileges that flowed from being married to a senior member of the governing elite. Her husband was a top police official in the security apparatus that keeps the Communist Party in power, so trusted that China sent him to France to take up a prestigious role at Interpol.

Grace Meng, the wife of former Interpol president Meng Hongwei, poses for a photo after an interview with the Associated Press in Lyon, central France, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. In the exclusive interview, Meng chose to show her face for the first time since her husband disappeared in China in 2018, agreeing to be filmed and photographed without the dark lighting and from-the-back camera angles that she had previously insisted on. She did so to be able to speak openly and in unprecedented detail about her husband's imprisonment, herself and the cataclysm that tore them apart. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani) © Provided by Associated Press Grace Meng, the wife of former Interpol president Meng Hongwei, poses for a photo after an interview with the Associated Press in Lyon, central France, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. In the exclusive interview, Meng chose to show her face for the first time since her husband disappeared in China in 2018, agreeing to be filmed and photographed without the dark lighting and from-the-back camera angles that she had previously insisted on. She did so to be able to speak openly and in unprecedented detail about her husband's imprisonment, herself and the cataclysm that tore them apart. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

But Meng Hongwei, the former Interpol president, has now vanished into China's sprawling penal system, purged in a stunning fall from grace. And his wife is alone with their twin boys in France, a political refugee under round-the-clock French police protection following what she suspects was an attempt by Chinese agents to kidnap and deliver them to an uncertain fate.

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After ex - Interpol chief’s disappearance, his wife is publicly fighting Chinese authorities. When now-former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei disappeared suddenly last month, his wife did something unexpected: She took up a public fight against the Beijing authorities, a move rarely seen from family members of accused senior Chinese officials. Meng Hongwei, 64, vanished from public view after taking a flight from France to Beijing in late September.

The wife of the former Interpol president who is being detained in China on bribery charges says she's been contacted by Chinese diplomats, who have told her they're holding a letter from him for her. Grace Meng has refused in repeated interviews and phone calls with the AP to provide her real name, saying she is concerned for the safety of relatives in China . It is not customary for Chinese wives to adopt their husbands' names. Grace Meng says she has done so now to show her solidarity with her husband.

Grace Meng, the wife of former Interpol president Meng Hongwei, answers the Associated Press in Lyon, central France, Tuesday, Nov.16, 2021. Meng Hongwei has now disappeared into China's sprawling penal system, purged in a stunning fall from grace. And his wife is alone with their twin boys in France, a political refugee under round-the-clock police protection following a suspected plot by Chinese agents to kidnap and deliver them to an uncertain fate. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani) © Provided by Associated Press Grace Meng, the wife of former Interpol president Meng Hongwei, answers the Associated Press in Lyon, central France, Tuesday, Nov.16, 2021. Meng Hongwei has now disappeared into China's sprawling penal system, purged in a stunning fall from grace. And his wife is alone with their twin boys in France, a political refugee under round-the-clock police protection following a suspected plot by Chinese agents to kidnap and deliver them to an uncertain fate. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

From being an insider, Grace Meng has become an outsider looking in — and says she is horrified by what she sees.

So much so that she is now shedding her anonymity, potentially putting herself and her family at additional risk, to speak out against China's authoritarian government that her husband — a vice minister of public security — served before disappearing in 2018. He was later tried and imprisoned.

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Wife of ex - Interpol chief fears for her life. (CNN) The wife of former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei, who dramatically vanished into police custody after returning to China in September, told the BBC she isn't sure her husband is still alive. In an interview with the British broadcaster, Grace Meng said she has received threatening phone calls since the Chinese government announced her husband was in custody in early October.

PARIS ( AP ) — In her first comments about her imprisoned husband's sentence in China , the wife of former Interpol president Meng Hongwei dismissed his bribery conviction as “a lie, a fake case” and said he is being punished for using his senior position in the ruling Communist Party to push for reform from Grace Meng said during in an exclusive interview Wednesday with The Associated Press that her husband, a long-serving vice minister of public security, had been part of a reformist faction of China 's secretive ruling party. In response to worsening corruption, Meng Hongwei and others argued

Grace Meng, the wife of former Interpol president Meng Hongwei, shows photos of her parents, first row, and her with her husband, as she answers the Associated Press in Lyon, central France, Tuesday, Nov.16, 2021. In the exclusive interview, Meng chose to show her face for the first time since her husband disappeared in China in 2018, agreeing to be filmed and photographed without the dark lighting and from-the-back camera angles that she had previously insisted on. She did so to be able to speak openly and in unprecedented detail about her husband's imprisonment, herself and the cataclysm that tore them apart. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani) © Provided by Associated Press Grace Meng, the wife of former Interpol president Meng Hongwei, shows photos of her parents, first row, and her with her husband, as she answers the Associated Press in Lyon, central France, Tuesday, Nov.16, 2021. In the exclusive interview, Meng chose to show her face for the first time since her husband disappeared in China in 2018, agreeing to be filmed and photographed without the dark lighting and from-the-back camera angles that she had previously insisted on. She did so to be able to speak openly and in unprecedented detail about her husband's imprisonment, herself and the cataclysm that tore them apart. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

“The monster” is how Meng now speaks of the government he worked for. "Because they eat their children.”

In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Meng chose for the first time to show her face, agreeing to be filmed and photographed without the dark lighting and from-the-back camera angles that she previously insisted on, so she could speak openly and in unprecedented detail about her husband, herself and the cataclysm that tore them apart.

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China has sentenced the former president of Interpol Meng Hongwei to 13 years and six months in prison on charges of accepting bribes. ( AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File) (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.) Grace Meng said during in an exclusive interview Wednesday with The Associated Press that her husband, a long-serving vice minister of public security, had been part of a reformist faction of China 's secretive ruling party. In response to worsening corruption, Meng Hongwei and others argued, out of the public eye and at the highest circles of power for a “modern”

China has sentenced the former president of Interpol Meng Hongwei to 13 years and six months in prison on charges of accepting bribes. ( AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File) (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. PARIS – In her first comments about her imprisoned husband's sentence in China , the wife of former Interpol president Meng Hongwei dismissed his bribery conviction as “a lie, a fake case” and said he is being punished for using his senior position in the ruling Communist Party to push for reform from within.

“I have the responsibility to show my face, to tell the world what happened," she told The AP. "During the past three years, I learned — just like we know how to live with the COVID — I know how to live with the monster, the authority.”

Among the global critics of China — many of them now mobilizing against the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing — Meng brings the unique perspective of a former insider who has walked through the looking glass and emerged with her views transformed. So profound is the change that she has largely stopped using her Chinese name, Gao Ge. She says she now feels more herself as Grace, her chosen name, with her husband’s surname, Meng.

"I have died and been reborn,” she says.

About Meng, his whereabouts and health as an imprisoned soon-to-be 68-year-old, she is entirely in the dark. Their last communication was two text messages he sent on Sept. 25, 2018, on a work trip to Beijing. The first said, “wait for my call.” That was followed four minutes later by an emoji of a kitchen knife, apparently signaling danger. She thinks he likely sent them from his office at the Ministry of Public Security.

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Grace Meng, the wife of former Interpol president Meng Hongwei, poses after an interview with the Associated Press in Lyon, central France, Tuesday, Nov.16, 2021. Meng Hongwei has now disappeared into China's sprawling penal system, purged in a stunning fall from grace. And his wife is alone with their twin boys in France, a political refugee under round-the-clock police protection following a suspected plot by Chinese agents to kidnap and deliver them to an uncertain fate. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani) © Provided by Associated Press Grace Meng, the wife of former Interpol president Meng Hongwei, poses after an interview with the Associated Press in Lyon, central France, Tuesday, Nov.16, 2021. Meng Hongwei has now disappeared into China's sprawling penal system, purged in a stunning fall from grace. And his wife is alone with their twin boys in France, a political refugee under round-the-clock police protection following a suspected plot by Chinese agents to kidnap and deliver them to an uncertain fate. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Since then, she says she has had no contact with him and that multiple letters sent by her lawyers to Chinese authorities have gone unanswered. She is not even sure he is alive.

Grace Meng, the wife of former Interpol president Meng Hongwei, answers the Associated Press in Lyon, central France, Tuesday, Nov.16, 2021. In the exclusive interview, Meng chose to show her face for the first time since her husband disappeared in China in 2018, agreeing to be filmed and photographed without the dark lighting and from-the-back camera angles that she had previously insisted on.  (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani) © Provided by Associated Press Grace Meng, the wife of former Interpol president Meng Hongwei, answers the Associated Press in Lyon, central France, Tuesday, Nov.16, 2021. In the exclusive interview, Meng chose to show her face for the first time since her husband disappeared in China in 2018, agreeing to be filmed and photographed without the dark lighting and from-the-back camera angles that she had previously insisted on. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

“This has already saddened me beyond the point where I can be saddened further," she said. "Of course, it’s equally cruel to my children.”

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“I don’t want the children to have no father," she added, starting to cry. “Whenever the children hear someone knocking on the door, they always go to look. I know that they’re hoping that the person coming inside will be their father. But each time, when they realize that it isn’t, they silently lower their heads. They are extremely brave.”

Grace Meng, the wife of former Interpol president Meng Hongwei, poses for a photo after an interview with the Associated Press in Lyon, central France, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021.  (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani) © Provided by Associated Press Grace Meng, the wife of former Interpol president Meng Hongwei, poses for a photo after an interview with the Associated Press in Lyon, central France, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Official word about Meng's fate came out in dribs and drabs. A statement in October 2018, just moments after Grace Meng had first met reporters in Lyon, France, to sound the alarm about his disappearance, announced that he was being investigated for unspecified legal violations. That signaled that he was the latest high-ranking Chinese official to fall victim to a party purge.

Interpol announced that Meng had resigned as president, effective immediately. That still infuriates his wife, who says the Lyon-based police body “was of no help at all.” She argues that by not taking a firmer stand, the global organization that works on shared law enforcement issues has only encouraged authoritarian behavior from Beijing.

“Can someone who has been forcibly disappeared write a resignation letter of their own free will?” she asked. "Can a police organization turn a blind eye to a typical criminal offense like this?”

Grace Meng, the wife of former Interpol president Meng Hongwei, answers the Associated Press in Lyon, central France, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. In the exclusive interview, Meng chose to show her face for the first time since her husband disappeared in China in 2018, agreeing to be filmed and photographed without the dark lighting and from-the-back camera angles that she had previously insisted on. She did so to be able to speak openly and in unprecedented detail about her husband's imprisonment, herself and the cataclysm that tore them apart. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani) © Provided by Associated Press Grace Meng, the wife of former Interpol president Meng Hongwei, answers the Associated Press in Lyon, central France, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. In the exclusive interview, Meng chose to show her face for the first time since her husband disappeared in China in 2018, agreeing to be filmed and photographed without the dark lighting and from-the-back camera angles that she had previously insisted on. She did so to be able to speak openly and in unprecedented detail about her husband's imprisonment, herself and the cataclysm that tore them apart. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

In 2019, China announced that Meng had been stripped of his Communist Party membership. It said he abused his power to satisfy his family’s “extravagant lifestyle” and allowed his wife to use his authority for personal benefit. In January 2020, a court announced he'd been sentenced to 13 years and six months in prison on charges of accepting more than $2 million in bribes. The court said he confessed guilt and expressed regret.

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Grace Meng, the wife of former Interpol president Meng Hongwei, reacts as she answers the Associated Press in Lyon, central France, Tuesday, Nov.16, 2021. In the exclusive interview, Meng chose to show her face for the first time since her husband disappeared in China in 2018, agreeing to be filmed and photographed without the dark lighting and from-the-back camera angles that she had previously insisted on. She did so to be able to speak openly and in unprecedented detail about her husband's imprisonment, herself and the cataclysm that tore them apart. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani) © Provided by Associated Press Grace Meng, the wife of former Interpol president Meng Hongwei, reacts as she answers the Associated Press in Lyon, central France, Tuesday, Nov.16, 2021. In the exclusive interview, Meng chose to show her face for the first time since her husband disappeared in China in 2018, agreeing to be filmed and photographed without the dark lighting and from-the-back camera angles that she had previously insisted on. She did so to be able to speak openly and in unprecedented detail about her husband's imprisonment, herself and the cataclysm that tore them apart. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

His wife has long maintained that the accusations were trumped up and that her husband was purged because he'd been using his high-profile position to push for change.

“It’s a fake case. It’s an example of a political disagreement being turned into a criminal affair," she said. "The extent of corruption in China today is extremely serious. It’s everywhere. But there are two different opinions about how to solve corruption. One is the method used now. The other is to move toward constitutional democracy, to solve the problem at its roots."

Grace Meng also has political connections through her own family. Her mother served on an advisory body to the Chinese legislature. And the family has previous experience of political trauma. After the Communist takeover in 1949, Grace Meng's grandfather was stripped of his business assets and later imprisoned in a labor camp, she said.

History, she says, is repeating itself.

“Of course, this is a great tragedy in our family, a source of great suffering,” she told the AP. "But I also know that very many families in China today are facing a similar fate to mine.”

Grace Meng, the wife of former Interpol president Meng Hongwei, shows photos of her parents as she answers the Associated Press in Lyon, central France, Tuesday, Nov.16, 2021. In the exclusive interview, Meng chose to show her face for the first time since her husband disappeared in China in 2018, agreeing to be filmed and photographed without the dark lighting and from-the-back camera angles that she had previously insisted on. She did so to be able to speak openly and in unprecedented detail about her husband's imprisonment, herself and the cataclysm that tore them apart. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani) © Provided by Associated Press Grace Meng, the wife of former Interpol president Meng Hongwei, shows photos of her parents as she answers the Associated Press in Lyon, central France, Tuesday, Nov.16, 2021. In the exclusive interview, Meng chose to show her face for the first time since her husband disappeared in China in 2018, agreeing to be filmed and photographed without the dark lighting and from-the-back camera angles that she had previously insisted on. She did so to be able to speak openly and in unprecedented detail about her husband's imprisonment, herself and the cataclysm that tore them apart. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Interpol elects UAE official as president ignoring outcry from rights groups .
Global police agency Interpol has elected UAE Inspector General Ahmed Naser al-Raisi as its new president, flouting concerns by human rights groups about the country's rights record.Raisi, who has been part of the UAE's police force since 1980 and serves as inspector general at the country's ministry of interior, received 68.9% of the vote at Interpol's general assembly in Istanbul. The role is largely ceremonial -- he will chair the general assembly as well as three executive committee meetings for each of the four years of his tenure.

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