As human rights advocates continue to be arrested, people are becoming increasingly angry
Another human rights lawyer is arrested as a colleague disappears. A petitioner demanding action against corrupt officials is placed under house arrest. People are worried but also angry. In Shanghai, passers-by clash with police who abuse migrant worker.
Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Ni Yulan, a prominent human rights lawyer, was detained for “creating a disturbance”. Liu Xiaoyuan, another lawyer, also disappeared. Shen Pelian is under house arrest after she launched a petition campaign against corrupt officials in Shanghai. In order to prevent a Chinese-style Jasmine Revolution, China’s rulers continue their crackdown against human rights and pro-democracy activists. As inflation rises, the country is becoming a powder keg, witness yesterday’s clashes between police and passers-by in Shanghai, after another example of abusive behaviour of public officials.

Ni (pictured) has defended human rights for years. In 2002, whilst taping the forced demolition of the house of a client, she was beaten by police and arrested in an incident that left her disabled. Similarly, Ni was jailed and beaten by police in 2008 for defending the rights of people evicted from their homes to make way for Beijing's 2008 Summer Olympics.

People who know Ni know that she never utter a word about Mideast unrest, something many would like to see in China. In fact, her family does not know on what charges she is being held. But many believe that her fate confirms the Communist Party’s desire to crush every independent and democratic voice in the country.

Liu Xiaoyuan, a human rights lawyer, disappeared in Beijing. Before he vanished, he wrote on his blog that he was being followed.

Since February, six lawyers have disappeared or have been arrested, including Teng Biao and Jiang Tianyong.

Police have also placed Shen Peilan under house arrest and her home under a 24-hour watch. She had presented petitions calling for the removal of eight corrupt city officials in Shanghai, including the district state prosecutor as well as the chairman of the Shanghai People's Congress and the head of investigation at the Supreme People's Court.

She has been arrested about 100 times since she started her petition campaigns in 2000 on behalf of some 3,000 families thrown out of their homes to build the 2010 Shanghai Expo.

For years, China has claimed a zero-tolerance policy against corrupt officials, but the state has also cracked down on ordinary citizens for denouncing cases of corruption.

Presently, the recent wave of arrests is generating a backlash as evinced by an incident in Jiuting township, Shanghai Municipality, where a group of urban management officers beat a migrant worker over a traffic dispute.

After getting up the victim began shouting, demanding justice. Quickly, a crowd of 2,000 people gathered to protest, blocking traffic. An eight-hour standoff ensued with police clashing with protesters. A number of police vehicles were damaged and at least ten demonstrators were arrested.