Phone calls to the Ministry of Public Security bureau in Inner Mongolia responsible for the teenager’s case rang unanswered Tuesday afternoon.
In 2015, Mr. Bao and his son were stopped at the Beijing airport and prevented from flying to Australia, where the son planned to attend high school. That same night, the authorities broke down the door to the family’s apartment and detained Ms. Wang. She detailed that experience for a chapter in a new book, “The People’s Republic of the Disappeared: Stories From Inside China’s System for Enforced Disappearances.”
Later that year uniformed officers snatched the son from a guesthouse in Myanmar, where he had fled in an effort to eventually make his way to the United States.
Ms. Wang and her husband were formally arrested in 2016. She was accused of subversion of state power, a charge that carries a possible life sentence, and Mr. Bao, a trainee lawyer, was accused of a lesser charge of inciting subversion of state power.
Last year Ms. Wang and her husband were released after she gave a televised confession, disavowing an international award she had won and saying she had been put up to pursue human rights cases by overseas groups. Friends said they did not believe the confession was genuine.
Blocking the couple’s son from traveling shows the pressure they remain under even after their release, said Patrick Poon, a Hong Kong-based researcher for Amnesty International.
“It’s incomprehensible and ridiculous how a teenager preparing to study overseas would be accused of possibly ‘endangering national security,’” he wrote by email. “It’s obvious that it’s a retaliation against his parents’ human rights work, in particular for showing their support to Wang Yu’s lawyer Li Yuhan, who has been detained since 9 Oct.”
Zhou Fengsuo, a 1989 Tiananmen protest organizer who now lives in the United States, said he believed the authorities were still concerned about what Ms. Wang would say if she could speak freely.
“This is a provocation from the government,” he said. “Basically, it is a sign they are still paranoid about what happened to him and his parents. They are afraid of the outside world knowing the truth.”
Last weekend another human rights lawyer, Tang Jitian, was prevented from leaving mainland China to travel to Hong Kong for medical treatment, the Hong Kong broadcaster RTHK reported. Mr. Tang lost his law license after defending an…