Petitioners from across China descended on Beijing for the July 1 anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), hoping for resolution to their grievances somewhere in the labyrinth of officialdom in Beijing, or even at the United States Embassy.
Petitioners who had traveled to Beijing from different parts of the country resorted to a variety of different schemes, hoping to bring attention and resolution to injustices they say were brought about by Party rule.
Some went to the Tiananmen Square, while others went to Zhongnanhai, the CCP’s central headquarters, seeking redress for their grievances. Some shouted slogans and tossed out fliers. Numerous other petitioners went to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs demanding basic human rights, but they were confronted by Beijing security officers who forced them out of the area. A group of citizens even made to attempt suicide in front of the U.S. Embassy.
On the morning of July 1, Luo Guanghui, Tao Mei and 9 other petitioners from Fuzhou eluded official interceptors and made their way to the U.S. embassy, shouting out their grievance in front of the embassy. Interceptors are security forces who try to prevent petitioners from presenting their grievances in the capital; they apprehend or effectively kidnap them and remove them to black jails, which are extralegal places of detention, before sending them back home. Human Rights Campaign, a grassroots group in China, recorded a video of the scene at the embassy.
Petitioner Luo Guanghui told Epoch Times that Beijing police dragged them away from the embassy, meaning to send them home, but the petitioners refused, asking the police to send them to detention in Beijing instead.
“If we get sent home, they will lock us up for a month. They would beat us, and retaliate by punishing us for coming to Beijing. They have so many different brutal and cruel punishments,” Luo said.
Police officers took the 11 petitioners from Fuzhou to a nearby police station and held them there. Luo Guanghui told reporters, “We took our cases to the U.S. Embassy, held up banners, tossed out fliers and newspapers that have stories of our grievances, and shouted out slogans like ‘Down with the corrupt officials,’ ‘Give me back my human rights,’ and ‘Justice for me.’ We all had fliers in our hands. Tao Mei was tossing out fliers to people when suddenly she was beaten by plain-clothed police officers.”
Pointing out the irony of the petitioners from Fuzhou taking their grievances to another country on the 92th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, a report issued by “Human Rights Campaign in China” said that this is the 9th time that petitioners have taken their grievance to the U.S. embassy.
In April, the report went on to say, the petitioners successfully presented a letter to U.S. ambassador Gary Locke, letting him know of their injustices. The petitioners from Fuzhou asked that the “Obama Petition Center” hear their cases.
Two Henan petitioners decided to commit suicide by taking poison right in front of the U.S. embassy to draw attention to wrongs done them by the CCP regime. But Liang Xicheng, Li Renwang, Chen Xiulian (73 years old), Li Mengcheng, Guo Gixyun, and Jilin petitioner Li Yanfen (72 years old), were stopped before they could drink the poison.
“There were six people who went to the U. S. embassy. Liang Xicheng and Li Yanfen were about to commit suicide by drinking poison when they were pinned down by the police. They didn’t get a chance to drink the poison and the police took them away. We don’t know where the four other people are. After so many years, their grievances still have not been addressed. They are all very disappointed, very desperate,” Henan petitioner, Sun Chunfang, told Epoch Times
At the same time, another group of petitioners went to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and demanded that they be included in drafting and writing of human rights reports. Petitioner Cao Shu and others, including one 78 years old, had been sitting quietly in front of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs around the clock since June 18, regardless of rain or other bad weather.
According to petitioners interviewed , they were also dragged away by over a hundred plain-clothed police officers on July 1.
Written in English by Carol Wickenkamp.