A 10-year-old girl in Anhui Province was seized from her school and has been unable to renew her studies, allegedly due to her father's activism. A group of lawyers are providing legal aid to secure her educational rights.
Zhang Anni, a fourth grader at the west campus of Hupo Elementary School in Hefei, Anhui Province, has not been allowed to go back to class since Monday after she was seized from school by four men claiming to be police officers at 3:30 pm on February 27.
Zhang Lin, her father, a local activist, told the Global Times Thursday that the four men did not provide credentials and said that they were taking Anni to see him, while he was also brought to the local Huposhanzhuang police station.
"I met her there at 7 pm and we were held until the next morning. The school president told me that they failed to stop the men and three teachers followed them to the police station," said Zhang.
Zhang said that the school welcomes Anni to come back any time under the condition that "related authorities" present a written statement that similar incidents would never happen so as to secure the safety of students.
The elementary school president's office responded to the Global Times Thursday that Anni could come back following regular procedures but refused to provide details of the negotiation.
Officers at the police station claimed to the Global Times that they were uninformed about the case.
Liu Weiguo, one of the lawyers, told the Global Times that it is illegal to take a juvenile away without proper cause and that they have asked the city's public security bureau to investigate the issue.
Zhao Yonglin, another lawyer, told the Global Times Thursday that the school should be held responsible for letting Anni be taken away and was acting illegally in refusing her return.
"We will continue pushing the authorities for a result even it's hard," said Zhang.
"Anni is recovering from fear these days, accompanied by many supporters, and several volunteers started to tutor her at a park near the school," Zhang added.