Chinese father of 4 says he was assaulted, forced to have vasectomy for breaching one-child policy

February 16, 2016

A Chinese father of four claims he was assaulted by local authorities and forced to undergo a vasectomy for violating family planning laws.

Hu Zhenggao, 42, took to Weibo last Saturday (Feb 11) to describe the incident, which he says occurred when he returned to his hometown of Luokan in Zhenxiong County, Yunnan province, over Chinese New Year.

He had relocated to Sichuan province in 2015, where he lives with his wife and their two-year-old child.

His three other children are from a previous marriage which ended in 2010.

He told a news service on Weibo that he had already paid the fines for breaching China's then one-child policy, and that his ex-wife was sterilised after the birth of their third child in 2000.

So he was confused when officials showed up at his friend's house and took him away on Feb 8.

He was told to pay a 20,000-yuan (S$4,140) fine for breaching family planning policies, Sixth Tone reported.

"I refused to pay the fine. I didn't think they had administrative power over me, as my hukou is not registered here anymore - their actions were illegal," he was quoted as saying.

A hukou is a household registration which determines where a resident is allowed to live in China.

Hu told Sixth Tone he was "shoved to the sofa" and "attacked by around 10 people" when he tried to leave the office.

The officials then threatened to detain him for disrupting public order if he did not go for a vasectomy, he said. He yielded, and the operation was carried out shortly.

"I wonder - is this even legal? It is so dark here, a remote place," Hu wrote on Weibo. His post was accompanied by a photo of a receipt he says was from his operation and another of his bruised neck.

The head of the Zhenxiong County's publicity department has refuted Hu's claims, telling Beijing Youth Daily that the vasectomy was conducted within the law because of Hu's three children from his first marriage. He added that no threats or maltreatment were involved.

Prefecture-level authorities are investigating the case, reports say.

The one-child policy was implemented in China in 1979 to limit population growth. Violators were subjected to fines, abortions and sterilisation procedures.

Since the start of 2016, the rule was relaxed to allow couples to have two children. The change was due to concerns over the country's shrinking workforce and ageing population.