Son Studying in the U.S. Appeals for Release of Parents Held in a "Black" Prison in Beijing After Trying to Petition Government in a Land Grab Case

China Aid Association

(Los Angeles–June 1, 2013) A son studying in the United States has issued a video appeal on behalf of his parents, who are being held in a “black” jail in Beijing after being illegally detained while trying to petition higher authorities in Beijing about the loss of their home in a land grab by their local government in Shandong province.

Sun Yuanpeng, who is now studying in Los Angeles, issued the appeal for the release of his parents, Sun Ruijin and Zhang Yuqiu, from the “black” or illegal jail. The couple, along with two other villagers, Song Jiayu and Li Haifang, from Fujiawa Village, in the neighborhood of Chengyang, in Rizhao city’s county of Ju, had gone to Beijing to seek redress for their eviction from their homes, which were forcibly and violently demolished by the local government, after their attempts to sue the local government had come to naught.

In Beijing, they were illegally taken into custody by Beijing police and detained at a “black” jail without undergoing any legal procedures by government officials of Ju county from the “intercept petitioners” department. Their current whereabouts are not known.

ChinaAid urgently calls on the local government of Rizhao to quickly correct this serious illegal and criminal act and release these petitioners who have been illegally detained and to bring about an appropriate resolution to their legitimate petition.

This is Sun Yuanpeng’s May 25 appeal, recorded in Los Angeles (translation provided below):

My name is Sun Yuanpeng and I’m currently studying in America. Because the basic right to survival of my parents and several villagers was illegally violated and because there was no way for them to seek legal redress in their local area, they recently had to go to Beijing to legally petition higher authorities. However, they have been locked up in an illegal black jail, and to date, there has been no news of them. I hereby lodge my strong protest against such a brazen trampling of international human rights law and China’s own laws. I demand that the authorities related to this case immediately release my parents and other illegally detained petitioners, compensate the loss of life and property, investigate and punish as prescribed by law those criminals in Beijing and Shandong who illegally detained the petitioners and illegally deprived citizens of their property. At the same time, I also demand that the authorities make reasonable compensations to the villagers who lost their homes and land.

In mid-May, my parents Sun Ruijin and Zhang Yuqiu and villagers Song Jiayu and Li Haifang went to petition higher authorities in Beijing, for which they were locked up by the police in an illegal jail. Thus far, my family has not received any papers from the Public Security Bureau for their detention or the coercive measures taken against them. Because their unending efforts to report and expose the fact that Ju county government officials had illegally appropriated peasants’ land and violently demolished their houses and that the local government had even illegally resold the houses in which the evicted families were to be resettled had come to naught, Sun Ruijin, Zhang Yuqiu, Song Jiayu and Li Haifang and others had no recourse but to petition higher authorities. They arrived in Beijing on May 13, and on May 15, they were illegally detained by Beijing’s Chaoyang District police. To date, my family members have not received any official news or notification about my parents’ detention.  My parents appealed everywhere on behalf of the villagers because of the forced demolition of their homes, the illegal acquisition by the government of their land, and the government’s reselling of the homes into which the villagers were to be resettled. They reported these problems to the Ju county political and legal affairs committee secretary, the Rizhao city political and legal affairs committee secretary, the director of Shandong Provincial Complaints Bureau and others. They also repeatedly wrote complaint letters and handed over incriminating material to the relevant authorities. But it was like stones falling in the ocean, coming to naught and leaving them with no choice but to go the route of petitioning higher authorities. Every time they petitioned, they were captured by “black” [illegal] security guard, brought back and detained. And the government did nothing to resolve the issue. 

This month, my parents organized some other villagers who had lost their land, and a group of eight of them, including Tian Chaoyi and Tian Chaoyang, went together to Beijing to petition. When the local government officials got the wind of it, they spent money and hired a thug who broke Tian Chaoyi’s leg to prevent them from petitioning. They again complained to the authorities, but when they got no results, they had to go and petition again. This time, the government became even more intense and put my parents and the others into secret detention and did not notify family members. I call on the local government to immediately release Sun Ruijin, Zhang Yuqiu and the others, to immediately investigate the unlawful acquisition of land, violent forced demolition of houses and illegal resale of the resettlement houses, and to decide how to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

Article 41 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China states: “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China have the right to criticize and make suggestions to any state organ or functionary. Citizens have the right to make to relevant state organs complaints and charges against, or exposures of, violation of the law or dereliction of duty by any state organ or functionary.”

But the reality is that each time they try to petition the higher authorities, they will be brutally suppressed and illegally detained by the local government and even suffer physical harm. Where is there human rights in China? Where is China’s legal system? Even though I’m physically in America now, as a Christian I will spare no effort to appeal, fight and do my best–because basic Constitutionally endowed human rights and the international human right laws should be protected, because basic property rights should be safeguarded, so that equality and justice can shine in China–until love and justice are established in China.

Sun Yuanpeng May 25, 2013 Los Angeles, USA.

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