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

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes 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.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

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