Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chinese Petitioners Seeking Justice End Up in "Black Houses" Secret Jails

Jiang Yingjie, recovering in a Beijing Hospital yesterday after reporting that he was assaulted by Police---Jiang says that he was attacked by Beijing Police who evicted him from his restaurant
which was forcibly closed last year ahead of the Olympics.

Beijing's rapid development and pre-Olympic building boom,
resulted in countless property disputes with small businesses and family homes. Dissidents and Petitioners in China, have reported
that Police use overly harsh tactics and sometimes become violent when dealing with protesters.

Efforts to prevent Chinese citizens from filing legal petitions against alleged government misdeeds have resulted in a system of unofficial jails called Black Houses which are used to secretly detain aggrieved citizens, preventing them from embarrassing local officials in front of the Central Government.

Human Rights activists and petitioners have reported that plain clothes security officers and hired thugs, abduct petitioners from the streets and hide them in a growing network of unmarked detention centers.

As Beijing hosts the National People's Congress, tens of thousands of desperate citizens have arrived attempting to seek redress by lodging formal complaints at peition offices.

Wang Shixiang, a 48 year old businessman arrived from Heilongjong Province seeking justice and complain about corrupt Police Officers, instead he was abducted from the street and confined in a dark room beneath the Juyuan Hotel with 40 others abducted petitioners.

While in China last month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "money is more important than human rights." Chinese authorities have wasted no time in exploiting the change in USA foreign policy towards China.

More here from International Herald Tribune