Chinese authorities have torn down part of a petitioners' village in Beijing, ahead of next month's important ruling Communist Party congress.

One resident of a demolished house told VOA's Mandarin Service Wednesday that more than 100 police and other authorities oversaw the destruction of several homes. As his belongings lay exposed to the open air, he complained that his rights had been violated.

There was no immediate comment from officials.

The New York-based group, Human Rights Watch, warned earlier this month that Chinese authorities were threatening to demolish the settlement, where as many as 4,000 petitioners reside.

Chinese citizens frequently travel to the capital, especially before important meetings, to call on officials to redress their grievances.

Human Rights Watch says more than 700 petitioners in Beijing were detained in March during the annual session of the National People's Congress.

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