The wife of former Interpol President Meng Hongwei revealed chilling details about a phone call she received shortly before her husband disappeared, only to reappear in China under investigation of bribery.
In an interview with the Associated Press, the first she’s done since her husband’s disappearance, Grace Meng said she could not provide her real name in an effort to protect family in China.
“I feel like I have a responsibility to stand up,” she said. “Only when you’ve been through this much pain can you understand that even more people have been suffering.”
Meng told reporters Sunday that she hadn’t heard from her husband, who is also the vice minister of public security in China, since Sept. 25.
That day, she says she was putting her young children to bed when she received a text from her husband of a knife emoji, and then the words, “wait for my call.” (RELATED: China Confirms It Is Holding ‘Missing’ Interpol President)
Instead of a call from her husband, who she says had been gone for more than a week on a trip to China, she received a call with another man’s voice.
“You listen but you don’t speak,” she recalls the voice saying. “We’ve come in two work teams, two work teams just for you.”
The man, who did not identify himself but claimed to have formerly worked for Meng Hongwei, also told her he knows where she is.
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Meng said she now has police protection at her home in Lyon, France, where Interpol is headquartered.
China confirmed late Sunday that they have Meng Hongwei “under the supervision of the State Supervision Commission” because he “is suspected of violating the law.”
Chinese officials said Monday that the former chief is being investigated for bribery and other crimes. His wife told the AP that “he’s simply incapable of this.”
Beijing created the National Supervision Commission in 2018 as an anti-corruption agency, and it has the power to detain people for months at secret locations without access to lawyers.
“Once an issue becomes political, there is no law,” a Beijing-based rights activist who is frequently placed under house arrest for his critical comments, Hu Jia, told the AP.
“If his wife weren’t in France and speaking to the media, his case would have been locked in a black box,” he said.
Meng knows that speaking out puts her “in great danger,” but she hopes doing so can help other families who find themselves in similar situations under the communist Chinese government.
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