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US Citizen Jailed for Protesting Forced House Demolition

By Zhang Yue
Epoch Times Staff
Created: November 14, 2012 Last Updated: November 14, 2012
Related articles: China » Democracy & Human Rights
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Cao Liping, a Chinese-American citizen, recently returned to her hometown in Tianjin to protest her mother’s house having been forcibly torn down in 2008. During her visit, the police subjected her to an illegal search and then detention.

An Epoch Times reporter contacted Cao on the afternoon of Nov. 11. She was being held in Majialou prison in Beijing, and was on a hunger strike.

According to Cao, her mother had owned a house in Hebei District of Tianjin, then occupied by Cao’s sister. The house was forcibly torn down in 2008 without any resettlement or compensation offered. Just prior to the demolition, her sister was carried out of the house after being beaten. The local official in charge of the demolition was Sun Baohua.

Since the demolition, the family has appealed to the government, but they have been met with complete disregard. When her sister’s beating was reported to the police, they ignored the complaint and instead threatened to commit her to a mental institution if she did not drop the issue. Consequently, her sister was forced to hide elsewhere, and Cao’s Internet postings about this incident were deleted

Cao referred to the local governmental staff as liars, adding, “The notice they issued was full of nonsense. They did not keep their promise to pay any compensation. It is absurd! For four years, that piece of land has been left idle. There’s been no development. They are absolute rogues. They employ the most despicable means under the banner of justice.”

Cao explained that both her parents have suffered tremendous health issues due to the demolition. Her mother has a heart problem and eye pain, and is nearly blind. Her 85-year-old father was hit by a car while crossing a street after the house was torn down, and has been afflicted by the injury ever since.

Chinese police vehicles sit parked as police maintain heavy security in Tiananmen Square on Nov. 10, 2012. The police station in Majialou colludes with officials to kidnap, intimidate, and assault petitioners, according to Cao. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

Chinese police vehicles sit parked as police maintain heavy security in Tiananmen Square on Nov. 10, 2012. The police station in Majialou colludes with officials to kidnap, intimidate, and assault petitioners, according to Cao. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

Over the years, the family’s petition in Tianjin has led to nothing but more suppression. On Nov. 11, Cao decided to file a petition in Beijing during the 18th National Congress, but she was tricked by the police and detained illegally.

“I could not find the specific location of the Letters and Calls Office, and thus asked a policeman. He said, ‘Get in the car with me,’ and I did. But he took me to the police station for interrogation.”

Cao was then met with insults and physical violation. “I asked for directions and they took me to the police station. There they searched me and touched my whole body.”

At 1 p.m., she was transferred to a jail in Majialou. According to the Boxun data, this is the so-called Majialou Service and Aid Center located in south Sihuan. In actuality, petitioners caught at the Complaints Bureau are jailed in secret. There are no beds or blankets. The only food is Chinese rolls and pickles. The police station in Majialou colludes with officials to kidnap, intimidate, and assault petitioners, according to Cao.

Cao was kept in Majialou for a few hours. Two policemen from Tianjin wanted to take her back to Tianjin, but she refused to go with them. Instead, she showed them her U.S. passport and asked the staff to contact the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. They promised to do so, but there has been no news. Cao does not believe they have made contact and thus decided to go on a hunger strike.

Read the original Chinese article.

chinareports@epochtimes.com

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