On May 15, 2007, Liu Fengang, a Christian living in Beijing, was stopped, assaulted, then detained for an extended period of time as he was heading to the birthday celebration gathering for Qi Zhiyong, a survivor of the Tiananmen Square massacre on June 4, 1989. Liu's family was also threatened that they'd be in trouble if he tried to draw public attention to his unlawful arrest.
And Liu was not alone. On the day of his arrest, many June 4th activists and human rights defenders honouring the June 4th incident were detained by police. Qi was transported to Tianjin and released the next day, while Liu was physically assaulted.
“It was at 7:15 a.m., and I was stopped by a plain-clothed police while walking down stairs [to the front door of the building],” Liu, who has been jailed twice before, remembered.
“After a bit of shoving I managed to work my way to the bottom of the stairs. Then more policemen confronted me, saying they had no good reason or legal basis, but they simply couldn't allow me to leave the building.”
Liu attempted to walk past the policemen, but he was again stopped by two plain-clothed officers. Two additional security personnel tackled Liu and handcuffed him. Liu was then taken to the Baizhifang police station in Xuanwu District for questioning and later released around 3:30 p.m. that afternoon.
The police assault occurred during the morning rush hour, attracting over a hundred spectators.
Liu mentioned that the police knew very well that he had undergone a heart stent surgery but they still assaulted him. “It was very inhumane,” he said.
At the police station, arresting officers accused Liu of “disrupting public service,” “beating other body,” and “disturbing the peace.”
“How could I have possibly disrupted public service when I haven't even left home? Besides, I am a Christian, so how could I possibly be going around hitting people without any reason?” Liu responded to the accusations.
Some officers later confessed to Liu that they were aware what they were doing was illegal, but if they let him go, they would lose their jobs, Liu said.
Qi Zhiyong as well as human rights defenders such as Liu Anjun and Huapo and Christian activists like Xu Yonghai all expressed strong concern for these unlawful arrests, and paid frequent visits to Liu's house. Qi pointed out that those plain-clothed policemen still refused to let Liu out of his own house. Qi added that his brothers and sisters are all praying and thanking God for Liu's courage and tolerance to overcome this ordeal.
Beijing sees many visiting foreign groups pour into the city on 4th of June each year, so as the date approaches police are continuing to detain Liu in hotels, public baths, or deep in the mountains where there is no cell phone reception. As the 18th anniversary of the June 4th massacre draws near, police warn Liu that his every move will be closely monitored.