Police Detain 200 Activists in Beijing for Protesting during CPC Meet

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Originally published by Latin America Herald Tribune on October 30, 2015

BEIJING – Around 200 human rights activists were detained by the police in Beijing and forcefully sent back to their respective provinces to prevent them from presenting their complaints during the ongoing annual meet of the Communist Party of China, or CPC, this week.

Most of those detained came from Shanghai and traveled to Beijing to draw attention to their problems during the CPC meet, local non-profit Rights Defence Network said in a statement Wednesday.

He Fengzhu, from Wuxi in the eastern province of Jiangsu, was detained Tuesday at the iconic Tiananmen Square for leading a protest against a forced demolition for which they received no compensation.

“Yesterday, around midday I went to Tiananmen to burst a firecracker and present my complaints,” He, who is still in police custody, told EFE Wednesday over the telephone from Wuxi police station before officers forced her to disconnect the call.

Her family in the past has taken part in similar protests with firecrackers in front of several embassies in Beijing, in an attempt to seek justice, He explained.

However, He, who is among the many who travel to Beijing with unresolved issues that their hometown authorities ignore, was pessimistic the central government too “will not respond to their demands.”

“In China, the law doesn’t have any value. It is just a tool for the leaders to pressurize the people,” He said recalling the case of popular human rights lawyer Wang Yu, imprisoned since July, who defended her family.

“Wang Yu did not do anything bad and they held him,” she said, uncertain when the police would release her.

The case of He and other petitioners and human rights activists arrested for holding a demonstration is not the first of its kind, Chinese Human Rights Defenders , or CHRD , commented Wednesday.

“It’s the usual tactic by the government to maintain supposed stability during meetings or important events,” CHRD investigator Frances Eve told EFE.

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