Human rights defender details threats since being released from prison

Dong Jiqing (L) and Ni Yulan (R)

(Photo: Courtesy of Ni Yulan)

China Aid
Translated by Brynne Lawrence. Edited in English by Ava Collins.

(Beijing—Dec. 8, 2015) Human rights lawyer Ni Yulan shared a personal account of the authorities’ violence and threats that she and her husband have faced over the past year, beginning in October 2014. Ni, who has been wrongfully imprisoned multiple times, described how various sources, including police officers and her landlord, pressured the couple to move from their new apartment through death threats, beatings, constant surveillance, and destruction of personal property.

China Aid works to expose abuses like those perpetrated against Ni and her husband to raise awareness about the current state of human rights and rule of law in China. An English translation of Ni’s account can be found below.

Xinjiekou Police Station declares strict control and will not allow me to rent within their jurisdiction

Recently, the lease for our apartment in Xicheng District, 39 Gulou Street was up. We needed to find an apartment to rent. This is a very common thing, but the Xinjiekou Police Station began to send a police team to closely monitor us and follow us every day, 24 hours a day, starting the morning of Oct.16, in an attempt to interfere with our renting a living place.

Last year, on the night of Oct. 30, 2014, I moved [to my current home] with my husband, Dong Jiqin.

Our new apartment was a little cold, and the room was a little damp. But we could rent and live in it, and it was better than living in the streets.

On Nov. 4, 2014, after living here for four days, at 3:40 p.m., the landlady came to our home and encouraged us to move. She didn’t leave until 5:05 p.m.

At 7:30 a.m. on Nov. 5, the landlady and two others brought their sons, daughters, and other people [into our apartment]. Among them was a mysterious man. While my husband was in the restroom, this man, after whispering for a while with the landlady and four people, came out of hiding. Afterwards, we learned that this mysterious man was Chen Yanbin from the Xinjiekou Police Station. This man had manipulated the landlady, using his power to take unfair advantage of people and abused and threatened my husband, saying: “If you don’t move, I will beat you. I will give you a week to move. After a week, I will come back.”

When Dong reported [the incident] to the police, not only did Xinjiekou’s police officers not care, they also restricted Dong’s freedoms. Officer Jiang Jun drove a police car and attempted to hit Dong.

I sent a public Weibo [Editor’s Note: Sina Weibo, or simply Weibo, is a Chinese social media website] message reporting this phenomenon of the police violating the law. My Sina Weibo username, “Chanjuan’s smile,” was blocked.

At 2 a.m. of Nov. 10, three plainclothes police officers from the Xinjiekou Subdistrict Branch of the Xicheng District Public Security Bureau arrived at my house to start trouble. One plainclothes police came into the courtyard, brought out Dong’s electric bicycle and popped the tire. Afterwards, he pounded on my home’s door again, and Dong opened the door to see what he was doing. He said he had come to find fellow townsmen. Dong asked him to show his identification. The plainclothes police officer refused. Dong followed him into the courtyard, and the man called out to the other two plainclothes officers in the small black car who came to beat up Dong. They [also] snatched away Dong’s cell phone and smashed it, breaking it to pieces. Among the plainclothes men beating up Dong was an officer surnamed Hong. After the matter happened Dong and I called to the police multiple times, but officers from the 110 [emergency number] refused to investigate.

After 10 a.m. on Nov. 18, a female plainclothes officer, the landlady, and three other people came to our rented apartment to pressure us to move, kicking down the door to enter the room and trying to hit me. If I wouldn’t move, [they said] they would kill my whole family. After I reported this to the police, police officers from 110 came to the scene and asked a few things but did not deal with the situation and left.

On Nov. 19, because this moving situation, we encountered [further] retaliation. Many police officers surrounded our rented apartment, and they have neither allowed Dong to go to the hospital to treat his injuries nor allowed us to go out and buy food. All day, we didn’t eat. At 5 p.m., the officers from the police station knocked on the door. Dong opened the window to ask who was knocking. A man yelled in a loud voice, “Don’t come out! Obey and stay inside.” Dong asked, “Where are you from?” That man said in a loud voice, “We are police officers from Xinjiekou Police Station!”

This year, the [previous apartment’s] landlady also came many times and yelled that she would have to kill our entire family. The most violent of these [encounters] was on April 30, when the landlady sat on the sofa and kicked Dong. The landlady told the police, “Yeah, I kicked him. I admit I kicked him. Whatever!”

Even now this dispute regarding the injuries that the landlady caused when she kicked Dong and the damage she did on the door has not been settled. The case’s investigators refused to perform their duties.

I have been released for more than two years and moved three successive times. Often, I was harassed by landlords and police and even imposed upon with violent force. Every day, we live in terror like this, scratching out a meager existence. Not a day passes peacefully and normally in my life.

We haven’t been driven out, because we were lucky enough to obtain the immediate assistance of many diplomats. Without this, I fear we would already be without a home and have to sleep in the streets.

Ni Yulan
Oct. 19, 2015

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected]

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