01/04/2012, 00.00
CHINA
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Women try to set themselves on fire in Tiananmen Square: arrested, along with dozens of protesters

Also arrested seven people from Fujian protesting the expropriation of their lands and asking to visit Ai Weiwei. One woman was released after nine months in a "black jail", where people are detained without charges, without trial, without notifying the families.
Beijing (AsiaNews / CHRD) - Police in the capital have arrested dozens of people in Tiananmen Square for distributing the text of their petition to the government. The arrests took place on New Year's Day. Among them are three women who tried to set themselves on fire in the square. One of them who attempted to set herself on fire is Jiang Fan, from Henan,. She had arrived in Beijing to criticize the corruption of the judicial system: her husband had abused her and was never prosecuted for this because he works in a court.

Another woman who attempted self immolation is Yunxi Zhao, from Jilin Province: for years she has been trying to obtain justice for the murder of her son.

10 people from Shanghai, also with petitions, were immediately arrested and transported to the "black prison" in Jiujingzhuang.

Seven other people with petitions from Fujian, were arrested on January 2 and brought to a black prison. They wanted to protest the expropriation of their land by the government of Fuzhou. To give more visibility to their protest, they had tried to visit the artist and activist Ai Weiwei, but the police arrested them Chaoyang.

Every year tens of millions of people travel to Beijing to officially present their petitions. Usually they are seeking the justice that was denied them in their town or village of origin, due to corruption of the courts or local authorities. The long line of people with the petitions has not stopped even though since 2009 the Beijing government has said that people should no longer go to the capital, but try to get justice locally.

To stop the wave of petitions and ensure that they do not lead to a movement of revolt, the police have the right to arrest and imprison people with petitions in so-called "black jails", buildings or apartments where people are crowded by the hundreds and can be held without charges, without trial, and without notification to relatives.

On 30 December, for example, Liu Cunqin, from Sichuan was released. She has spent nine months in a black prison, in Pujiang, near Chengdu. She was arrested in Beijing on the occasion of the National Assembly in March.
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