Police Deny Activist’s Memorial Service
The home of a key member of the League of Chinese Victims was surrounded by a large contingent of police on June 27. The owner, Ms. Zhou Xuezhen, who aids appellants from all over China on behalf of the league, has been suffering harassment since Feb. 3.
Ms. Zhou is in charge of publicity for the League of Chinese Victims, a civil rights society initiated to protect fundamental rights of the disenfranchised, dispossessed and underprivileged people against abuse by the government and big businesses. Many such victims of injustice come to major cities to appeal.
Throughout June 27, appellants came to visit Ms. Zhou, but they were stopped by police and were not allowed to enter. Not knowing what the police would do to her, Ms. Zhou has called for urgent help.
Ms. Zhou, interviewed over the phone, said: “Right now there are many police and police cars near my home. They have been here since 9 a.m. Many police are in plain clothes and they are targeting my home. Some appellants came and started quarrelling with them, wanting to come in. The police said that they have a special mission today.”
Deceased husband denied a memorial
The police’s goal appears to be to stop appellants from commemorating Zhou’s husband, Yu Chudan. Yu is the second member of the League of Chinese Victims who has been persecuted to death.
Mr. Yu was very supportive of the work of the League of Chinese Victims. After Ms. Zhou became the publicity officer, Shanghai’s government tried everything to force her to quit, including tormenting her family. During this crucial period Mr. Yu gave his wife the utmost support, and it’s only with this support that she was able to persist until today.
Ms. Zhou further clarified the situation: “On Feb. 3, they (Shanghai Government) intentionally cut off electricity to my home for many months, and they even removed the electricity meter. On March 3, during the National People’s Congress assembly, they tried multiple times to take me to a forced labor camp. My husband was a bit timid, so they used his weakness to pressure me.”
During the ten plus years that Ms. Zhou spent appealing for her rights, she has been detained, abducted, and had her electricity cut countless times. Her entire family constantly lived under the threats and intimidation of the Shanghai government.
Her husband Yu Chudan became sick on March 18 and was taken to the Emergency Room of a Shanghai hospital. Ms. Zhou said, “My husband passed away on June 16, and they (Shanghai Government) wanted to cremate his body. I said that the incident has not been resolved and you cannot cremate him.”
Ms. Zhou also indicated that she became the publicity officer of the League of Chinese Victims because of the Shanghai police; they pushed her to that position.
Direct experience of injustice
In 1993, Ms. Zhou was involved in a car crash and did not receive proper compensation for the incident. Then in 2006, her family home was forcefully demolished.
Ms. Zhou’s family originally had a 370 square meter house. The house was demolished without the family’s permission and family possessions were intentionally destroyed. The entire family was beaten and suffered injuries. The 400,000 yuan (US$58,864) that was inside the house also disappeared.
She said, “At the time we didn’t even have money to eat, and couldn’t borrow any. I just couldn’t understand why they had to do this to us.”
Since the forced demolition, the family has been destitute. She said, “Now I don’t know what they want to do to my family again. At the time of the car crash I was a business owner with over 2.3 million yuan (US$338,707) worth of property and had just invested in a new factory. Now I’m worse off than a beggar. The government wants to torture my entire family to death.”
According to its website, the League consists mainly of China’s disenfranchised, dispossessed and underprivileged. Lack of knowledge and resources has left such people with no recourse when their rights are violated. The victims confront the insatiable venality of officials and businessmen in collusion for mutual benefit, and unscrupulous business interests backed by self-serving bureaucrats at all levels of government.
Read the original Chinese article