More than 100 Shanghai petitioners went to Longhua Temple in Shanghai to commemorate human rights activist Chen Xiaoming on Dec. 24, with his family members. Although this was a normal gathering, the Shanghai regime panicked and sent 200 police to closely monitor the petitioners.
It is a custom for Longhua Temple to hold an annual ritual for the dead on Dec. 24 every year. Chen Xiaoming’s memorial plaque was also there. Chen was persecuted to death by the regime one and a half years ago.
Unexpected Police Presence
Petitioner Zhang Junling said, “Today we mourned for Chen Xiaoming’s unjust death. The authorities sent hundreds of police and dozens of police cars. They even set up a restricted area surrounding the petitioners.”
Another petitioner, Ma Yalin, told an Epoch Times reporter, “We did the normal mourning ritual, but were surrounded by police. They closely monitored us one after another.”
A local passer-by said that Longhua Temple holds annual rituals for the dead on the same day every year. It was the first time he saw so many police gathered around Longhua Temple. He had never seen this before.
From Victim to Defender
Chen Xiaoming was an active petitioner who opposed forced relocations. Because of his own experience, he studied the law himself. He started by defending his own human rights and eventually went on to defend human rights for other victims without pay. However, since the time famous human rights lawyer Zheng Enchong was arrested, no other lawyer has dared to deal with cases of forced relocations. So Chen started acting as the agent for the victims free of charge. He was long persecuted by the regime because of his actions.
Chen was arrested on Feb. 15, 2006, for arranging a meeting with the U.S. Consul and petitioners. Afterward, he was detained at an undisclosed location. On Jan. 9, 2007, he was sentenced to two years for the so-called “crime of disturbing the order of the court.”
On July 1, 2007, the health of the 54-year-old Chen had seriously deteriorated while in prison. The prison failed to provide timely medical treatment. He died on the day the prison notified his family to take him to the hospital for medical treatment.
Another petitioner participating in the memorial ritual at Longhua Temple told The Epoch Times, “We held a normal activity today, but the regime responded as if facing a formidable enemy. This shows that the social conflicts in Chinese society are as intense as being at the brink of a volcanic eruption. The regime is responding as if facing floods or savage beasts, or formidable enemies. So they feel as if enemies hide behind everything.”
Read this article in the original Chinese: http://shenyun.epochtimes.com/gb/8/12/24/n2373889.htm