Activists and petitioners are being detained by the Chinese Communist regime in the runup to two annual political sessions to be held in Beijing beginning March 4.
The number of police officers and vehicles on Beijing streets has increased significantly as preparations for plenary sessions of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Committee (CPPCC) get underway.
Two separate Chinese New Year gatherings in Beijing and Shanghai were disrupted at the weekend in the name of “social stability.”
On Feb. 24, nearly 80 petitioners gathered for a dinner party in Beijing to celebrate the Lantern Festival. Officers from the patrol brigade of the Tiangongyuan Police Station in Daxing District stormed into the private room in Shumandi dance hall where the party was held, and took everyone to the police station, where they were interrogated.
“The Lantern Festival is a traditional Chinese festival, everyone has the right to celebrate, we should be united with our families. The police would not even let us gather,” Mr. Lu told The Epoch Times by telephone. Mr. Lu is a former business owner from Shaanxi Province, who has been appealing in Beijing for four years, and is currently homeless.
“We had nowhere to go on Lantern Festival. Some former police officers, who had been mistreated, organized a dinner party in Beijing and invited us. I wanted to join the celebration,” Mr. Lu said.
The petitioners were transferred to a place called Jiujingzhuang Reception Centre, in a southern Beijing suburb, which basically functions as a temporary detention center for petitioners before they are handed over to local authorities.
“After we were brought to Jiujingzhuang, we sat on a bench all night,” said Ms. Xu from Heilongjiang, a relative of a mistreated police officer.
Ms. Xu said she asked the police why they were arrested as they had not broken any laws. The police admitted that this was the case, but that someone had reported them and so they had to wait before being handed over to local authorities.
“If we go back, we will be under house arrest or detained,” said Ms. Xu, who is determined to stay in Beijing.
The petitioners are still being detained at the Jiujingzhuang Petitioner Centre.
In Shanghai, human rights activists had organized a dinner party for Feb. 23. That morning, dissident Gao Xiaoliang, who planned to attend the party, was taken from his home by four police officers, according to a report on the Chinese Human Rights Defenders website.
“At 8:30 p.m., they still had not released me. I could no longer put up with such serious human rights violation by the State Security. I could only fight with my life, so I climbed onto the windowsill and attempted to jump from the building. The State Security guards and police forcefully pulled me down and eventually had to release me,” Gao told The Epoch Times.
That same morning, Yang Qinhuan, another dissident who planned to attend the party, was also forcefully taken from his home without any legal formalities and brought to the Yichuan Police Station. At noon, the police drove him back home, but there were officers guarding his house to prevent him from going out and joining the party.
Read Original Chinese article.
Translated by Quincy Yu. Researched by Hsin-Yi Lin. Written in english by Peter Valk. Reporting by Cassie Ryan.
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