09/29/2011, 00.00
CHINA
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Arrests and convictions, some illegal, ahead of October 1

Ahead of "sensitive" the number of citizens who seek justice through the method of petitions multiply in Beijing. The government responds with arrests, disappearances and illegal sentences.
Beijing (AsiaNews / CHRD)) - On the occasion of October 1, anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, thousands of people are pouring into these hours into Beijing to present their petitions against abuses by local Communist officials to the central government. In response, the Party authorities have ordered yet another campaign of repression and arrests even sentencing several demonstrators to forced labor.

According to the Chinese Constitution, every citizen has the right to bring a claim against what constitute, in his or her opinion, injustices to the capital. The practice has been repeatedly praised by leaders of the country, which see this as evidence of internal democracy, but unfortunately the words are not followed by facts. Each year police intercept people trying to consign their document and - after a period of detention - send them back home. The cases number in the thousands every year.

On the occasion of the "sensitive" dates - anniversaries or meetings of the political party or the government - the flow increases. According to Chinese Human Rights Defender, the authorities have sentenced Bai Zhongmei to two years of "reeducation through labor" for having traveled to Beijing to protest against the forced demolition of homes. To stop him, the police have literally kidnapped him from the room he had rented while waiting to be received.

Local authorities are increasingly using the so called "black jail": in short, private homes guarded by armed men where people are detained, arrested in an arbitrary manner and can not be brought before a judge. Again according to the CHRD, the authorities September 23 last stopped Yongjian Zhu, from the province of Jiangsu, who was trying to get to the Supreme Public Prosecutor to seek redress. To date his fate is unknown.

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