Appealing Blind Workers Beaten at Wuhan City

By Liu Feiyue, The Office of "Observing Life"
November 24, 2007 12:00 am Last Updated: November 24, 2007 12:00 am

The Office of “Observing Life,” a non-government human rights organization, reported that on November 21, Zhang Lihua, a petitioner from Wuhan City, went to the Wuhan City Hall to issue an appeal and witnessed forty to fifty blind workers being beaten by armed Wuhan city policemen. The workers were also at city hall issuing appeals.

Mr. Le, a blind worker representing the group, explained that his colleagues have worked for the Two Seven Spring Processing Factory, Wanming Hardware Processing Factory and the Blind Labor Factory in the city's Jiang-an District. All of these factories have been dissolved and the government refuses to allow them to participate in the social security program. Because they now have such a hard time making a living, the blind workers started appealing.

Since June 1, 2006, this group has been petitioning the government for a viable solution to their situation, but their demands have so far been ignored.

When the group of workers arrived at city hall on Wednesday morning, they requested to see the mayor, but were not granted a meeting. Because their demands have been repeatedly dismissed, the workers forced their way into city hall. As a result, many armed policemen guarding the city hall gate blocked the workers from entering the building and began beating them. Mr. Le was beaten to the ground. The armed policemen dragged, pushed, and shoved the blind workers, using any and all means to force them out of the building. According to Mr. Le, among all the workers at city hall that day, the youngest one is 48 years old. He said they never imagined that the government would treat handicapped people in such a barbaric way.

“How could you beat these blind people?” Zhang Lihua asked the city hall officers. The armed policemen replied by pulling her hair and arresting her. Later, Zhang was thrown onto the floor, her arms bloody from being beaten.