News / Asia

Shanghai Residents Demand Justice for Petitioner Death

FILE - Workers rest as they demolish an old residential site in the center of Shanghai, September 15, 2013. FILE - Workers rest as they demolish an old residential site in the center of Shanghai, September 15, 2013.
x
FILE - Workers rest as they demolish an old residential site in the center of Shanghai, September 15, 2013.
FILE - Workers rest as they demolish an old residential site in the center of Shanghai, September 15, 2013.
VOA News
Some 600 protesters gathered in front of a Shanghai district police headquarters this week to demand justice for a local petitioner who they say suffered fatal injuries while in police custody.

Shen Yong, a resident of Shanghai's financial district of Pudong, was taken from his home earlier this month by police. He was released two hours later barely breathing. His son, Shen Yaming, says that he died shortly after.

“My father was beaten to death, I saw his body and the upper side was all covered in bruises,” he said.

Shen Yong had started petitioning after his home was forcibly demolished in 2008. Since earlier this year, he had occupied a vacant lot in the same district where his home had been. Authorities accused him of squatting, and say that the complex owner had repeatedly notified Shen and his family to move out.

On Monday, Shen's friends and other human rights activists went to the Pudong Public Security Bureau to demand authorities investigate allegations of foul play and police brutality in Shen's death. Among them was Kong Lingzhen, who also saw Shen's body and volunteered to report to the police as a witness.

According to activists who were at the rally, police detained about 100 people - including Kong, who is 63 years old and disabled.

“A killing has to be investigated, so I went with them on the 28th. I went to speak with the criminal police and I was attacked, they said they would detain me for ten days,” he said.

Kong said that because of his poor health and high blood pressure, the police released him early the next morning.

Human Rights in China - a Hong Kong based human rights group - said eight participants were still in police custody on Wednesday. Activists reached in Shanghai confirmed at least four people were being held by police.

Shanghai petitioner Mao Hengfeng also participated in the demonstration. She said that only by actively demanding justice, similar tragedies can be avoided in the future.

“We need each ordinary citizen in China to understand the gravity of a corrupt government that kills a man like this,” she said. “Today they casually kill Shen Yong, but tomorrow it could be us.”

Mao Hengfeng has been active in the Chinese human rights movement for many years, and has a history of challenging the authorities over some of their most controversial practices, including forced abortions and forced demolitions.

She said, as in past incidents, she has been overtly threatened by authorities in this case.

“They told me in so many words: the next to be beaten to death is Mao Hengfeng.”

The Chinese government has set up specific offices and hotlines through which citizens can redress abuses from local governments. But petitioners say the system is designed to fail and a very small number of cases get resolved through the official channel.

Land requisition, forced evictions and unfair compensation are major sources of unrest in China, where there is no privately owned land and local governments rely heavily on land sales for their operating revenues.

Shanghai-based economist and self-taught human rights lawyer Feng Zhenghu said the property development of the city of Shanghai has benefited the interests of the local government and developers, at the expense of residents' rights.

Forced demolitions used to be widespread, he says, and people had little bargaining room to push for a better deal.

“But now large scale development, at least within the city, has pretty much finished,” he said. “The situation is somewhat better now, but if past issues have not been resolved, they will continue to be problems.”

Two days after Shen Yong's death, the Pudong district government information office released a statement saying that Shen became unconscious and died of a sudden illness and the body did not show marks of external injuries.

“Should the family have further demands, they can ascertain the cause of death through an autopsy report,” the statement read.

Shen's son, Shen Yaming, said in an interview with VOA that criminal police from the Pudong district said it will take more than a month to have the final autopsy report.

He said his family will be satisfied if the report shows the truth of what happened, and explains the injuries he saw on his father's body.

You May Like

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid