Woman Attempts Suicide at Gate to Central Government Compound in Beijing

July 12, 2011 6:43 pm Last Updated: July 22, 2011 6:43 am

A Chinese woman petitioning against the forced demolition of her house attempted to commit suicide in front of Xinhua Gate in Beijing on the afternoon of July 11, Sound of Hope Radio reports.

The woman, Tao Guofen from Wuxi, Jiangsu, was heard shouting anti-corruption slogans before stabbing herself.

“She was halted and questioned by police from the Beijing Office," according to her son. “My mother appealed because of the forced demolition she suffered, which has become the biggest problem in China now. Our local government at various levels told my mother that they would help her to relocate smoothly during this period. That’s what they said every time when they negotiated with her. But they kept putting her off. The matter has not been resolved.”

According to Huang Hanqing, an activist in Wuxi City, Tao was illegally arrested and tortured in prison for appealing against the forced demolition of her house, including the small restaurant she owned, and the forced expropriation of her land.

To prevent her from appealing in Beijing during two recent large political meetings, the village party secretary promised to compensate her more than two million yuan (approx. US$309,260). But he hadn’t given her any money by the time she resolved to make an attempt on her life.

On July 4, the local authorities sent in apparent mobsters to keep contested residences in Wuxi City under surveillance. Hang Hanqing says that he was violently beaten.

Tao has reportedly been taken to the hospital, but whether she is out of danger is not clear. Her cell phone has been turned off.

Xinhua (New China) Gate is the heavily-guarded entry to Zhongnanhai, the Chinese Kremlin. Though appealing to the Central Government is assured by the Constitution, many Chinese who attempt it are subjected to violence and arrest.

Read the original Chinese article.

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