With China claiming the release of two American’s on bail after their arrest last month, a family is disputing the claim.
China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Geng Shuang reportedly said at a news conference that Alyssa Petersen and Jacob Harlan were arrested by officials under the suspicion of illegally moving people across borders. Geng told reporters the two were released on bail.
“We just heard that Alyssa was visited by her attorney in the “detention center” in Zhenjiang, yesterday. Their Monday,” a family member wrote Monday on a GoFundMe Page for Petersen. “She has enough clothing and money for supplies there.”
Last week, the U.S. Department of State said in a statement to EastIdahoNews.com that they had not been notified of the release of Petersen. They said they are in contact with her while providing all the appropriate consular services.
The GoFundMe page said Peterson has had no contact with anyone other than her lawyer since her arrest on Sept. 27.
“Her human rights are being violated,” said Clark Petersen, Alyssa Petersen’s father. “She should have the right to at least contact her family. She should have the right to at least be treated like a human.”
Harlan’s condition and status are unknown. A now-removed post on GoFundMe set up for his expenses said Harlan remains held under police surveillance in a hotel in Yangzhong, near Zhenjiang, China. Harlan’s family denied request for comment.
Harlan and Petersen’s company, China Horizons, would not return requests for comment. On a Facebook post, the company said the arrest and rising political tensions between the United States and China has forced them to close their doors.
At the news conference, Geng said, “I don’t see any connection between this case and the current China-US relations.”
Petersen’s family said the investigation could take several months and years as they struggle to gain her freedom.
“I just want people to know that she loves China,” Clark Petersen said. “She loves the Chinese people. She’s been there for so many years because she absolutely loves them. She thinks it’s the greatest culture.”