Hundreds of Veterans Appeal and Are Beaten and Arrested

June 25, 2007 Updated: June 25, 2007

CHINA—In the morning of June 20, 2007, hundreds of unemployed veterans in Guangzhou City appealed in front of the provincial government building. The local police beat and arrested some of them.

Former Major Xie Shuqing, representative for the unemployed veterans, was intercepted by police before arriving at the appeal and seriously injured and hospitalized.

According to a veteran at the scene, there were about 400 veterans who appeared at the appeal. Five of them went into the appeals office while the rest waited outside. Soon the authority sent over a hundred police officers with six buses and shouted at them with a loud speaker, “It's illegal to appeal and you must disperse.”

Among those appealing were women, seniors, and others who were disabled. Some wore their many service medals on their uniforms.

“Four or five officers pushed a female veteran into a car. There was blood on her hands and ankles from the struggle. Police locked appellants inside a gymnasium, took down their names and addresses, and informed their neighborhood committees to take them away,” said one veteran.

Another veteran said because most officials in Guangdong Province and Guangzhou City obtained their positions through bribery, they wouldn't talk to the people.

Major Xie Beaten at Police Station

In the morning of the appeal, 53-year-old Xie Shuqing was about to leave home, when about 30 officers were already waiting in front of the home to arrest her. Xie said, “About ten of them wore uniforms, none of them showed their badges. They showed me a subpoena. I told them I had to go to an appeal, one officer said, 'We are here to not let you appeal.' I refused to go with them, then they twisted my hands to my back and pushed me into a car.” Xie was taken to the Chigang Street Police Station in Zhuhai District, Guangzhou City, and brutally beaten. Xie was an army major before she left the service.

Xie's injuries were severe enough that she needed to be hospitalized. Her husband, also an unemployed former military official, is out of town and is also looking for a job. Now, only other veterans will care for her.

Li Hanjun, a veteran who hasn't had a job for many years, said veterans in Guangzhou have appealed many times because the central government's policies (to help veterans find a job) were not implemented. They appealed many times but the issue remains unresolved. One day before their appeal this time, the local neighborhood committee sent out two cars and eight people to monitor him at home. Another veteran was taken by the police and interrogated for eight hours.

A veteran said the Guangzhou City Public Safety Bureau sent out a warning message to them, “You will be all arrested if you appeal again.” The authority didn't want appellants to come, so they blocked a major road on the morning of the appeal for an hour, causing a local traffic jam.

Veterans Have No Recourse

Recently, the Chinese Communist Party military announced a new regulation authorizing severe punishment for military organizations that participate in demonstrations or appeals.