China: Petitioner sent to mental hospital
|Publisher||Radio Free Asia|
|Publication Date||18 May 2012|
|Cite as||Radio Free Asia, China: Petitioner sent to mental hospital, 18 May 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4fbc8e08c.html [accessed 17 March 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Chinese authorities have a petitioner committed after she approached Premier Wen Jiabao.
A policeman stops a group of petitioners from demonstrating outside a hospital in Beijing, May 7, 2012. AFP
A woman who approached Chinese premier Wen Jiabao about her grievances against the government as he made an unannounced visit to a Beijing railway station has been committed to a psychiatric hospital by officials from her hometown.
Shandong petitioner Lin Xiuli was taken into custody after she broke through police security and approached the premier at the Beijing South Railway Station on May 9, she told RFA's Mandarin service in an interview last week.
"I was taken away by the police to a room, where they called the [Shandong] representative office in Beijing, and I was taken back under escort," said Lin, speaking from a hotel room in the eastern port city of Qingdao, the provincial capital.
"Now I am in a big hotel in Qingdao. They are holding me here," she said.
Lin said she had received a visit from a director of the Qingdao municipal Party politics and law committee, who told her she should get a psychiatric evaluation.
"I said no...[so] they drove up to my family home and paid a call on my sister at her factory in Weifang city and tried to force her to sign the papers [committing me to the mental hospital]," she said.
"My sister called me up and said she hadn't signed. After that they went and spoke to the factory bosses and they got them to forced my sister to sign the papers."
Lin, who was crippled after being thrown from a building and has been petitioning for nearly a decade over what she says is an unjust court decision, has been detained dozens of times and for about 550 days since February 2007, rights groups say.
Since Lin spoke to RFA, her sister has been unable to get information on her whereabouts, the Hong Kong-based China Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) said in an e-mailed statement on Friday.
"She suspects that Lin had been taken back to the Maidao Psychiatric Hospital, where was held for nearly 300 days last year and forced to take medications and given injections," CHRD said.
Lin Xiuli was crippled after being thrown from a building, and has been petitioning for nearly a decade after being dissatisfied with a court decision.
She has been detained about two dozen times and for about 550 days since February 2007, including in black jails and the Maidao psychiatric institution, CHRD said.
China's army of petitioners say they are repeatedly stonewalled, detained in "black jails," beaten, and harassed by authorities if they try to take complaints against local government actions to higher levels of government.
Many have been trying to win redress for alleged cases of official wrongdoing – including forced evictions, beatings in custody, and corruption linked to lucrative land sales – for decades.
Reported by Fang Yuan for RFA's Mandarin service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.