Authorities in Beijing Demolish Village of Petitioners
A Beijing village consisting of petitioners, located at No. 60 Dongzhuang, is being demolished by the authorities. To speed up demolition, petitioners living in the village were ordered to move out before September 19. There were once tens of thousands of petitioners in this village and several thousand of petitioners are resisting the eviction.
According to petitioners, the reason the authorities are accelerating demolition is because of the upcoming 17th National People's Congress and the 2008 Olympic Games. It is all part of Beijing's effort to brush up its public image. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) plans to force away all petitioners in Beijing and detain them until after the 2008 Olympic Games.
“It is illegal and stupid for the authorities to use force to remove citizens who are appealing for their basic human rights,” said Beijing lawyer Ren Hua.
A petitioner whose last name is Wang told The Epoch Times that the authorities have threatened petitioners several times and claimed that they would be arrested if they do not move out as quickly as possible. The authorities have also told petitioners that all structures in the village will be demolished within five days to meet the September 19 deadline.
The weather is getting colder in Beijing. Petitioners are finding it harder to sleep on the streets or under bridges. Some petitioners have looked to the suburbs of Beijing for less expensive housing. Others have relocated to Xi Tie Ying Village, Yang Qiao and other locations outside of Beijing. But most of the petitioners are homeless and don't know where to go. Many are struggling just to survive.
In an interview with The Epoch Times , Beijing lawyer Ren said, “With the approach of the 17th National People's Congress, the suppression of human rights petitioners by the authorities is getting worse and worse. Local governments have sent people to Beijing to track down petitioners. False charges are used to put them into labor camps and prison. Petitioners will be detained until after the 2008 Olympic Games. The government is using illegal methods to suppress its people.”
Ren has been involved in protecting the public welfare for a long time. He voluntarily provides legal assistance to petitioners. “All the local governments are making inroads on people's interests all the time,” said Ren. “Brutal and inhuman things are happening everyday. The ordinary Chinese people are in an absolute inferior position. They make the decision to come to Beijing to appeal only after they have completely given up hope on their local governments. Unfortunately, not only their problems remained unresolved, but their lives became horrible after they started their petition campaign in Beijing. They have suffered from violence including repeated beatings and kidnappings. They are forcibly removed from Beijing and taken back home, only to be put into labor camps and prisons. They become disappointed and despaired. Tragedies like suicide, self-immolation, drinking pesticides, etc. occur frequently.”
“Lots of petitioners have nowhere to stay so they have to sleep under trees or bridges,” said Ren. “They are living a very tenuous day-by-day existence. They are very afraid of being attacked or arrested by the police. They are not allowed to go to the petition department. Even if they succeed in getting in, the only people they see are those sent by their local governments to take them back home. People have nowhere else to go, so they go to Tiananmen Square and Zhongnanhai to petition.”
Ren thinks it is illegal and stupid for the authorities to use force on citizens who are appealing for protection of their basic human rights. “The energy of the human rights resistance movement is like a coiled spring. The more you press it down, the higher it will jump,” said Ren.
Ren believes that the denial of the people's rights to petition is the reflection of China's human rights situation. The CCP regime turns a blind eye to what is happening. They do not want to solve this problem for the ordinary people. To suppress human rights in order to maintain social stability is wrong, llegal, and will not be tolerated.
“We will continue to provide assistance to vulnerable groups,” said Ren. “We are facing a great deal of pressure from the authorities because of our efforts in protecting basic human rights. We will continue in our efforts because it is the right thing to do.”