BEIJING ( Reuters ) – chinese officials straining to stifle protest ahead of a key Communist Party congress have been paying to have troublesome petitioners held in violent sordidness in a close Beijing prison, many complainants said. Detained petitioners stand behind prison gates at Nanyang city ‘s agency on the outskirts of Beijing September 10, 2007. chinese officials straining to stifle protest before a key Communist Party confluence have turned to a close prison in the nation ‘s capital that, for a price, has held petitioners in violent sordidness, said many complainants. painting taken September 10, 2007. REUTERS/Chris Buckley
Eight petitioners told Reuters of being held in the prison with dozens of others who had come to the capital to press grievances over impound property, patrol brutality and official corruption. They described a “ black jail ” on Beijing ’ s southwest outskirts run by officials from Nanyang city in the central state of Henan.

A reporter who visited the Nanyang “ liaison function ” and attach hotel this workweek found more than a twelve petitioners hush being held in a two-storey cell blocking enclosed by steel grating behind the build, along with a boy aged about three. Former detainees said they had been confined there unwashed for days or weeks on a diet of rice gruel, steamed bread and restaurant scraps, with beatings dealt out by adolescent guards. “ It was an belowground jail. There were no procedures, they showed no recognition, ” said Hui Shuzhen, a dissenter from the northeastern state of Jilin. President Hu Jintao, set to extend his carry on might at a Communist Party congress opening on October 15, has promised a more “ harmonious club ” cured of social discontent. The petitioners, and two local rights advocates who said they had heard complaints about the detentions, hold witness to a harshly different reality. “ That night they beat an old man until the shock was spattered with rake, ” Chen Chaoji, from the southeastern state of Fujian, said of his first gear night in the imprison .


They said the detentions had been offered as a service to early provinces will to pay for the appearance of stability. A staff extremity at the hotel adjoining the jail said early regions had “ entrusted ” it with holding boisterous petitioners. senior staff there refused to answer questions after they chased devour and roughly held this reporter for closely two hours, with a twelve plainclothes guards present. One official said the detention web site was sanctioned by Beijing. Government spokesmen from Nanyang, Henan state and the State Council Information Office, the central government ’ s public relations arm, did not answer fax questions about the claims. But ex-detainees insisted they had been held without procedures or documents, not what the government had promised petitioners. “ President Hu has promoted a harmonious company and so we petitioners are a menace to the records of local officials, ” said Chen Lijian, looking like a shy student with his crop hair and glasses. He said he had been locked up in the “ underground imprison ” for nine days in August. “ But I never expected I ’ vitamin d be held like that — the dirt, the beatings, no procedures. ” “ PETITIONERS ’ VILLAGE ” The source of these detentions can be traced to “ request village ” in Beijing ’ s south, where every day hundreds gather with complaints that much involve small disputes snowballing into epics of red-tape, malice and corruption.

The walls outside the nearby supreme court petitions agency are daubed with graffito and hand-written posters bewailing unsolved murders, lost land and homes and lost hope. many of the torment citizens gathered there have been complaining for years. Some plainly are mentally ailing. “ Petitions and appeals ” are one of the few legally sanctioned ways of voicing grievances in this one-party state of matter. Over the past ten, the number of petitioners journeying to provincial capitals and to Beijing has swollen., petitions and ailment visits grew from 4.8 million in 1995 to 12.7 million in 2005. This open wound of discontented is an embarrassment to Hu, who came to exponent promising to defuse strife over corruption and abuses. In 2005, he introduced rules that promised more protection for petitioners. But local officials frequently prefer to intercept petitioners and threaten or cajole them into silence before their complaints reach cardinal officials ’ ears, critics and petitioners said. “ There ’ s official grade based on the number of petitioners reaching Beijing, ” said a Beijing human rights lawyer who asked that his mention not be used, fearing it would compromise his own inquiry. “ This grade creates huge blackmail to stop them, particularly with the Party congress coming up. ” “ FEED THE MOSQUITOES ” provincial officials have long played a cat-and-mouse game with the petitioners thronging Beijing, trying to nab them at railway stations and ministry gates before they can register their complaints and become awkward statistics. Petitioners speak of being held in detention offices run by their home towns and provinces in Beijing as a everyday fact. The novelty of the Nanyang mathematical process appears to be turning detention into a commercial serve, with other local governments paying it to catch and hold protest residents. The eight petitioners from east and northeast China individually said they had been lured or dragged from streets, government offices and a state-run detention center to the jail. “ They said I ’ vitamin d be taken there for a few days to feed the mosquitoes, ” said Wang Yanjie, another petitioner from Jilin. She said officials from her home town had handed her over to the Nanyang-run detention center. Petitioners said they believed from guards ’ comments that the imprison charged early local governments from 200 to 300 yuan ( $ 27- $ 40 ) a sidereal day to hold them until they were taken home, sometimes released on the spotlight, or dumped outside the city.

The current detainees said they were all from Nanyang, and those from other places had been moved away a few weeks ago — possibly after former detainees ’ complaints to local patrol. They stretched their arms through the grate to offer their own written complaints to the reporter, but police late confiscated them The beget of the young boy yelled out that the two had been held there for months .

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