Petitioners attempt suicide outside Beijing newspaper

By Cao Siqi and Chang Meng Source:Global Times Published: 2014-7-17 1:03:01

Seven petitioners tried to commit suicide by drinking pesticide on Wednesday in front of the building of China Youth Daily in Beijing.

The petitioners were rushed to hospitals after a guard from the newspaper found them fallen to the ground in pain Wednesday morning, the newspaper said.

Their lives are not currently at risk.

The suicide attempt was said to be a protest against a reporter who they claimed had "received their petition materials but failed to report their story."

All seven petitioners come from Sihong county in Jiangsu Province. They started petitioning local authorities in September of last year because of what they called "sub-standard demolition compensation" for their properties.

According to the petition materials they brought to the scene, a man named Cai Fuxi from Sihong, along with many others, accused the local government of seizing their properties without the proper documents and issued compensation at one-third of the market price, reported Shanghai-based news site

Wang Hai and Jiang Yanjun, petitioners from Sihong who did not participate in the suicide, told the Global Times that the petitioners gave their materials to a male reporter from the China Youth Daily in May in front of the newspaper's building in Beijing.

"The story was never printed. Some petitioners were imprisoned after they came back from Beijing. Many felt that they were fooled," Wang said.

The China Youth Daily could not be reached to confirm the information and the reporter's work phone number provided by the petitioners was later found to be invalid.

The Global Times found a document with the same accusation and petitioner name online which was posted in November last year. The document claimed that the petitioners were illegally imprisoned for petitioning.

At press time local police could not be reached for verification. A staff member with the local petition office in Qingyang township said one of the petitioners "demanded limitless compensation," reported The Beijing News.


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