Police halt protest outside CCTV Tower

By Zhang Zihan Source:Global Times Published: 2012-12-5 0:10:04

A number of petitioners from across China who had gathered outside the China Central Television (CCTV) Tower Tuesday, China's National Legal Advocacy Day, were allegedly sent to a petitioner shelter by police.

Fifteen petitioners from Hunan and Jiangsu provinces and Shanghai, according to signs the petitioners held, protested outside the CCTV Tower Tuesday morning, but by 11 am, the petitioners were seated inside a bus, still yelling loudly. 

"How can you treat a senior citizen like this? I want to drink and eat! I want to go to the toilet!" shouted a man at police officers. He appeared to be in his 60s. Officers on the scene would not allow the reporter to talk to this man. The protesters were shouting about their grievances, which mostly related to property disputes.

Sun Xuemei, 60 and retired from Qingdao, Shandong Province, who also came to petition over a property dispute, said she witnessed the police escorting the people to the bus. 

"I arrived at 9 am. The police were putting those people on the bus at that time, but they didn't use violence," Sun said.

An anonymous police officer at the scene said they would not charge them with anything, but would only gather them and let their provincial officials handle their issues individually.

The bus later drove to a petitioner shelter in Fengtai district afterwards, Sun alleged.

Sun is one of 13 people who are appealing over a dispute involving 90 people and 18 million yuan, which has not been resolved despite a judgment in their favor eight years ago.  

"We just hope journalists from CCTV can come down and report it, because today is National Legal Advocacy Day. Last night we heard over 100 people from Shenyang [Liaoning Province] and Shanghai were planning to demonstrate here, I don't know where they are now," Sun said.

Another of Sun's group, Liu Guijie, said that on Monday, they had passed a difficult night in a petitioner shelter. 

"Beijing police took us on a bus from the Supreme People's Court [Dongcheng district] to Jiujingzhuang [in Fengtai district] last night. Over 100 people were in a 100-square-meter room and we weren't allowed out by men in uniform. I don't know if they were from the police," said Liu.

Wang Chunfa, director of Chaoyang district stability maintenance office, said he did not know of Jiujingzhuang.

"The petitioners should go to the petition office instead of the CCTV Tower," he said.

A judge from Qingdao Intermediate People's Court, surnamed Li, is assigned to Sun and Liu's case. Sun said Li met her and other petitioners in Jiujingzhuang Monday. 

"I was informed by the petition office in Qingdao to handle their appeals, but I didn't know who runs Jiujingzhuang," Li told the Global Times.

"The experience of being treated unjustly makes people become petitioners, but there are still lots of them making unreasonable appeals," said Li.

Posted in: Society, Metro Beijing

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