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China petitioners killed, beaten and seized by police

China petitioners killed, beaten and seized by police

Epoch Times
July 23, 2008

At least two petitioners are thought to have died as Beijing authorities intensify their campaign to “clean up” the capital for the Olympics, with busloads of people taken away each evening.

Petitioners contacted by telephone told The Epoch Times that on the evening of July 13, five busloads of people were seized and taken away, with another busload taken the following evening.

“Every evening they are seizing people,” Mr Zhao Jianping, told The Epoch Times by phone. “The people living under bridges are becoming fewer and fewer.” Mr Zhao has been appealing in Beijing for more than four years.

Beijing appellant Tang Xuiyun told of a similar situation. “These past two days have been very dangerous for us,” he said. “If you hand in a letter of appeal you’re immediately seized.

“Jilin Province petitioner Xingrong [sic] was yesterday beaten lifeless, then dragged away, right now we have no idea whether [he or she] is dead or alive. Right now everyone is very vulnerable, and we don’t dare to step outside.”

Airing Grievances

Thousands of people, mostly from rural districts, travel to Beijing each year to air their grievances at government “appeals offices”, mostly over land grabs by corrupt local officials.

They are routinely arrested and sent back to their home provinces, but Beijing authorities are now ramping up a campaign that started in September last year, with the central government doing all it can to present a “harmonious” China to the world during next month’s Olympic games.

The mass arrests are coupled with measures to prevent petitioners from reaching the capital. Those wanting to enter Beijing now must apply for a permit, a process that rules out the many who have been blacklisted. All vehicles entering and leaving the capital undergo a “safety check”, with passengers asked to show their identification. Leaflets have been distributed telling residents to report any foreigners or suspicious people to the police.

Daily commuters on buses and trains are randomly asked to show their ID, with government officials stressing both “strictness” and “convenience” for security forces while inspecting people, state media reported.

Additionally, landlords renting out their basements were ordered in June to clear out existing tenants by July 1, according to Hong Kong’s Mingpao newspaper, with estimates that this forced more than 100,000 non-Beijing residents to return to their home provinces. Small hotels and guesthouses have been closed, surveillance cameras have been installed throughout the city, and large numbers of police wearing red armbands have started patrolling the streets.

“They are arresting people everywhere, and hotels don’t allow us to stay there for the night, our identities are all blacklisted,” Mr Zhao said. “The public safety authorities are more restrained in the daytime, but come evening, every appellant they discover is thrown into a vehicle and taken away.”

Read Full Article Here

Beijing To Have Olympic Protest Zones
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20..GloHB0bIZVAnSeHTpv9xg8F

Exodus on main street: China’s clean-up begins
http://www.theage.com.au/w..p-begins-20080721-3irj.html

Bush: Olympians Ambassadors For Liberty
http://rawstory.com/news/afp/Bush.._be_ambassado_07212008.html

How Many Chinese Have Been ‘Suicided’?
http://en.epochtimes.com/n2/china/by-lin-zhanxiang-1480.html

China says no Olympic terror link found in bus blasts
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/afp/20080..-blast-oly2008-ef7dd21.html

 

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