Wife of ex-Interpol chief fears for her life

The wife of Interpol's former chief Meng Hongwei has said she fears for her life and that of her twin boys after her husband was detained by Chinese officials, in the latest case of a forced disappearance in Beijing.

Posted: Oct 11, 2018 12:33 PM
Updated: Oct 11, 2018 1:06 PM

The wife of Interpol's former chief has said she fears for her life and that of her twin boys after her husband was detained by Chinese officials, in the latest case of a forced disappearance in Beijing.

In an exclusive one-on-one interview with CNN in Lyon, France, Grace Meng said she received a threatening phone call from a stranger after her husband vanished. She said the stranger told her "two teams" were coming to target her.

Grace Meng was moved to tears as she spoke of her sons, both 7 years old, saying that she had not told them what happened to their father, Meng Hongwei, and that she had kept them away from the television to shield them from the news.

"Maybe they can feel something happened," she said. When they notice her crying, Grace Meng says, she tells them she has a cold.

"I don't want to break their hearts," Meng said. "I'm very -- you know my heart, you know my emotion. They (Chinese authorities) like things under the table, in the dark room," Meng said.

As she spoke to CNN, keeping her face hidden throughout the interview, her mobile phone rang three times. She said the Chinese consulate had been calling incessantly, but that she refused to meet them alone and would only do so with the media and a lawyer present.

Grace Meng's husband had served as Interpol's president for two years when he took a flight to Beijing in late September and vanished. Beijing announced in recent days that he was being held on suspicion of corruption. Chinese authorities have not given details of specific allegations.

When CNN asked Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang about the alleged threats and consulate phone calls at a press conference Wednesday, he said he had no knowledge of them.

"If she's a Chinese citizen, then being contacted by the Chinese embassy or consulate sounds like something that any government would do to their citizens," he told reporters.

Grace Meng now says she has no idea whether she will see Meng Hongwei again.

"I miss him very much. That's why I always wake up at night."

During Xi Jinping's six-year presidency, more than a million officials are estimated to have been punished in a widespread crackdown on corruption, many of them mysteriously disappearing for days as Chinese officials question them.

Critics suggest that the campaign is a tool for Xi to remove political opponents and cement his power.

Grace Meng defended her husband as an innocent man and criticized the Chinese government for the disappearances and lack of transparency over the detentions.

"He is a person of integrity, he strictly abides to the law, and he has worked all his life to help build a society based on rule of law."

When asked why she was speaking out, she said: "For all of China's children, for all of the China's wives, for all of ... China's daddy, mommy."

She said that Meng Hongwei had been worried that authorities would come after him, having seen so many people vanish without explanation.

Grace Meng told of how many elderly Chinese people had lost their adult children in the disappearances, never finding out what happened to them.

"They died but can't see their children, their son, their daughter -- they're lost. You can imagine. I have this responsibility to help the other people."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 147382

Reported Deaths: 3763
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto973199
Hinds9668197
Harrison6898109
Jackson6178119
Rankin5319100
Lee487695
Madison4666106
Forrest371386
Jones346788
Lauderdale3355144
Lafayette317549
Washington3122107
Lamar283449
Oktibbeha240861
Bolivar240184
Lowndes229763
Neshoba2177115
Panola215849
Marshall209650
Leflore201490
Pontotoc196128
Monroe191477
Sunflower190555
Lincoln186865
Warren172657
Tate165451
Union163925
Pike160658
Copiah159540
Yazoo152039
Scott150729
Coahoma148743
Itawamba148234
Pearl River146567
Alcorn146327
Simpson145153
Prentiss141230
Adams137949
Grenada137745
Leake131943
Holmes126561
Tippah123030
George122324
Covington119737
Winston119124
Wayne116223
Hancock115939
Marion111646
Attala109833
Tishomingo106542
Chickasaw104132
Newton103629
Tallahatchie96327
Clarke88853
Clay87127
Jasper81222
Walthall75328
Stone73114
Calhoun72913
Montgomery72125
Carroll70614
Lawrence70314
Yalobusha70027
Noxubee69717
Smith69616
Perry65426
Tunica59619
Greene58422
Claiborne57616
Jefferson Davis55017
Humphreys52918
Amite51814
Benton48717
Quitman4816
Webster42114
Kemper41918
Wilkinson38722
Jefferson34211
Franklin3265
Choctaw3117
Sharkey30717
Issaquena1124
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 239318

Reported Deaths: 3532
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31391491
Mobile19562361
Tuscaloosa12813154
Madison12741146
Montgomery12198235
Shelby1000577
Baldwin847398
Lee764466
Morgan634348
Calhoun6112115
Marshall607954
Etowah606565
Houston517038
DeKalb474736
Cullman428038
Limestone413744
St. Clair409055
Elmore400762
Lauderdale393653
Walker3588108
Talladega343453
Jackson307624
Colbert301941
Blount285539
Autauga268641
Franklin247833
Coffee239715
Dale230354
Dallas224531
Russell22053
Chilton219638
Covington216833
Escambia197431
Chambers173749
Tallapoosa173391
Pike157514
Clarke156319
Marion136535
Winston129923
Lawrence124836
Geneva12028
Pickens119418
Marengo119124
Barbour117010
Bibb116217
Butler114441
Randolph100921
Cherokee100824
Hale94531
Clay90223
Washington90219
Fayette87316
Henry8496
Lowndes79129
Monroe78111
Cleburne75714
Macon72321
Crenshaw70730
Bullock69119
Conecuh68314
Perry6756
Lamar6508
Wilcox63118
Sumter57122
Choctaw41913
Greene41418
Coosa3374
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 42°
Columbus
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 41°
Oxford
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 37°
Starkville
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 37°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather