'Kneeling Appeal' Organizer Formally Arrested
November 1st marked 30 days since Zhou Zhirong, the organizer of the “Kneeling Appeal” on Tiananmen Square, was detained. His formal arrest order was finally issued by Chibi City police.
On September 26, 2006, at about 9:15 am, 32 farmers displaced from their land went to Tiananmen Square to protest under the national flag. At that time, all 32 knelt down after opening a banner. The appeal continued for about 10 minutes before the police carried them away. This appeal was the culmination of many previous attempts to obtain redress from the government at various levels.
When Zhou's wife, accompanied by famous political dissident Mr. Yu Zhijian, went to visit her husband at the Chibi City Detention Center in Hubei Province, the police rejected their visitation request. Later, the police forwarded a formal arrest order to the family; the crime was “Suspicion of Disturbing Social Order.” Mr. Yu indicated that it was 30 days after Zhou was taken from Tiananmen before the authority issued the formal arrest.
Zhou's family told the Epoch Times journalist that the police said that suspects were not allowed to have visitors during their detention period. Mrs. Zhou earnestly requested that the police consider her difficulties of traveling such a long distance and allow her to just take a look at her husband. She was sternly refused. The police retorted that they were going to handle this case rapidly and severely. Mrs. Zhou became very frustrated upon hearing this, and was brought to tears. She hopes more people will pay attention to this case and help rescue her husband.
It is suspected that Zhou has been mistreated while in custody because of the denied visitation.
Little Optimism for the Poor
During their negotiation with police, Mr. Yu Zhijian noticed four other documents for the same “Kneeling Appeal” case on the desk in the police office, which included the names of the other four organizers, including Hong Yunzhou and Tan Guotai. Yu suspected that their situation was not very optimistic either.
When the reporter asked what their plan is, Mr. Yu said helplessly: “There is little hope, these displaced farmers are all very poor, retaining attorneys requires money. We can only go back to discuss the matter with friends and fellow townsmen about what to do.”
Attorneys Offer Services
After learning the above news, Huang Qi, the host of a famous rights activity website -“June 4 Tainwang,” immediately contacted the renowned human rights attorneys Li Jianqiang and Zhang Jiankang, who both indicated their willingness to provide the needed legal services.
This event has attracted a great amount of international and mainland Chinese attention.