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December 2014 - Eight Years / Probably the Explanation for the Events:

Bernhard Wilden was a Dissident in China

December 22nd, 2014 is the eighth anniversary of our son's death.

I firmly believe that with probability bordering on certainty, this is how it happened.

Bernhard Wilden was not of Chinese origins, but was a dissident in China. The term dissident is used to describe someone whose opinion deviates from the prevailing opinion. Bernhard's opinion with regard to human rights certainly deviated from the prevailing opinion in China, and we know that he often expressed this. He especially criticized the Chinese government's one-child policy. In light of the events, it does not matter whether or not he had behaved smartly when expressing his opinion.

Once I told Bernhard in a conversation about the Chinese state that foreigners are safe in China. Therefore, he might have felt too safe.

Dissidents are dealt with differently in China. In case of a Chinese citizen, he or she can be detained, displaced to an unknown location for an indefinite period of time, or taken to a labor camp. (Recently, the press reported that China intends to disband these labor camps and also to ease the one-child policy.) Alternatively, the dissident could be given permission to leave the country, such as in the case of the blind civil rights activist Chen Guangchen, who campaigned mainly against the Chinese government's one-child policy. The list of Chinese dissidents is long.

Foreigners are dealt with differently. They cannot be detained; instead, they are expelled.

My son Bernhard Wilden probably was expelled. Presumably, he was told in the few days before his death. During this time, we did not receive a single email from him, which was quite unusual. During a phone call home to Cologne, he did not tell me of his expulsion because he could not explain it to me on the phone; and I had no reason to believe he would be expelled. Therefore, when I asked him why he wanted to return home immediately, he simply replied that he felt threatened, knowing that his parents would now do everything humanly possible for their son. He informed me by email, that he could not find his plane ticket and could not leave the next day. The following night it came to disaster.

At this point, the question whether it could have been a suicide shall also be addressed briefly. Of course in every case of an unresolved death, the possibility of a suicide must be considered. I did cover this in detail on this homepage and all reasons oppose this possibility. If it was a suicide, one could and should have found some evidence and informed us. However, according to the statement of the professor who identified Bernhard, he was externally unharmed. Also, in a laboratory test the Chinese did, they did not find any drugs or alcohol in his blood. An autopsy was not performed, and we were denied the extradition of the body to Germany. A healthy young man does not simply lie down on the street and is considered dead without external injury or any visible cause.

Bernhard presumably died from head and/or skull injury after one or more blows to the head. In considering all aspects, another possibility is inconceivable to me. It is all too understandable that the Chinese authorities tried everything to cover this up. We were denied any information whatsoever. We stood and we are standing in front of a wall.

Unfortunately, even on the part of the German government and the German authorities, nobody did support us with the clearance. Human rights, perhaps, are also sometimes just words in Germany.

Bernhard Wilden in summer 2005 in Beijing

On November 26th, 2014 Bernhard would have become 32 years old.

written by Regina Wilden, mother of Bernhard Wilden, in December 2014