採訪/朱智善 編輯/張天宇 後製/李月
Petitioner Locked Up In a Morgue: Humane Care?
Media in mainland China revealed information about
the petitioner Chen Qingxia from Heilongjiang Province.
After Chen’s re-education in labor camp sentence
had ended, the authorities locked her up in a morgue.
The case triggered worldwide media attention,
as another incident of human rights violation in China.
Local authorities responded to public condemnation saying,
this was a humane care to Chen, since she was not jailed.
Until now, relevant departments and officials haven’t
investigated the case, which caused public dissatisfaction.
On Jan. 24, the state media disclosed Chen Qingxia’s story.
Chen had been held in a labor camp for 18 months.
She went to Beijing to appeal for her ill husband,
who was treated badly in detention.
After Chen’s labor camp re-education expired, she had been
held in an abandoned morgue by local authorities for 3 years.
Ms. Xu (Chen Qingxia’s friend): “Since Spring 2010,
she has been held in the morgue, until now.
Which rear window is sealed with iron bars,
and buried in muck.
The front window is with installed camera,
with a van and people watching her 24 hours.
Her mobile phone was blocked,
there was no signal to make a phone call.”
The state media, China News Service,
reported on Chen’s case.
They said, Dailing District’ propaganda department,
Yichun City, responded that this is a humane care for Chen.
This attitude aroused netizens’ anger. They condemned
authorities for having no conscience, no humanity.
Major media also published editorial articles, condemning
the authorities’ human rights violation and denials.
Under huge pressure, local authorities in Yichun City
took a series of compensation measures.
Like visiting Chen, sending a doctor to check her health,
sending police to look for her missing son, negotiating residence for her, etc.
Media reported, the vice chairman of National Committee
in Yichun City said in an interview that Chen didn’tbelieve authorities are honest.
Commentators think the authorities’ measures aim to shift
responsibility, to act superficially under the public pressure.
The Beijing News commented that Chen has been deprived
of freedom for three years without any legal process.
Who has made the decision? Who has implemented it?
Why hasn’tit been investigated?
Ma Xiaopeng (lawyer, China): “This happens very often.
There is no solution. It is helpless, really helpless.
This case isn’tan isolated one,
there are too many.
Being a lawyer one may hope to have a just environment,
however, this is only a luxury wish, it’s painful.”
State media reported that in 2003, during SARS epidemic,
Chen’s husband suffered from a “post-traumatic stress disorder,” and damaged a fence, blocking the road.
Police detained him for 15 days, and later sent him
to a labor camp, where he was held for 21 months.
After two months in the labor camp,
he became mentally ill from the torture.
In order to get an explanation for her husband,
Chen went to appeal.
Ms. Xu: “Chen has been appealing from 2003 to 2007.
In 2007, she brought her son with her to appeal in Beijing.
Ren Haifeng, the manager of the appealing office,
treated her very rudely and stopped her.
She was forcibly sent back to her hometown, and detained
for 10 days. She lost her son in Beijing; still can’tfind him.”
According to sources, after Chen was sent back from Beijing,
she had been held in a labor camp for 18 months.
In the labor camp she was tortured
and became disabled.
Chen Qingjiang (victims’ brother): “In the labor camp
her lower body had been tortured, so she got paralyzed.”
After her release the local authorities didn’tlet her go.
Instead, she was locked up in an abandoned morgue.
Chen’s relatives appealed to local petition office many times,
requesting Chen’s release.
However, the requests were rejected by Dong Lijie, current
petition office’ director, for “needing leaders approval.”
Chen Qingjiang: “At the beginning, they locked her up
alone in that place, and didn’tallow us to see her.
Two days ago, my elder sister went to the appeal office,
asking to take her home for the Chinese New Year.
However, they didn’tlet her go. My sister kneeled down,
asking to stay there and look after her, but they still refused.
No one prepares food for her,
no one looks after her.”
After Chen’s story was revealed, journalists interviewed local
authorities, appealing office and Political and legislative committee.
The answers from them were, “Not clear, don’tknow.”
Reporters couldn’tget to them via the phone line.
Ms. Xu: “The government should investigate the responsible
persons. But they fear to take responsibilities.
That person, the appealing office’ director who stopped
Chen from appealing, has been promoted to a chairman of worker’s union, vice-minister level position.”
Lawyers said, this case needs to investigate not only relevant
officials who illegally detained Chen, but also the officials’ who commit the crime of power abuse.
It needs to make the truth clear. Otherwise,
the responsible persons will go unpunished by law.
No matter how many the compensation measures are,
they are useless if there is an abuse of power.