This is an original translation of a part of this post from 24 hour blogbus. What we’ve translated here are the words of a Zhao Xinhua, a housewife whose family was beaten and whose home was destroyed by masked men in league with the police.
On April 13th, 2009, at around 8pm, my famly was sitting around when suddenly local cadres burst into the room with dozens of steel-helmeted, masked men. They showed no documentation, and didn’t say a word. Two masked me took me (Zhao Xinhua), tied me arms, twisted my neck down to the ground, and kicked and punched me. Another man grabbed my hair and used it to slam my head to the ground, they beat me until I was screaming in pain. Later, they dragged and beat me two hundred meters outside of my house to the door of the police van. Some six or seven others dragged Lu Qingwen, who had just been sleeping, out of bed, held him to the ground, and kicked and stepped on him, then beat him savagely with nightsticks. After that, they put him in irons, dragged him down five flights of stairs and into the street, where they beat him again. They tore his shirt and vest and dragged him the two hundred meters to the police car. We were stuffed in. They didn’t let us sit in seats, we sat on the floor. Dragging our feet, we were taken from our homes barefoot.
More terrifying is that they took our 14 year old son Lu Yongpeng, held his hands behind his back, and kicked and beat him until he was crying and screaming, holding him in the door of the police car. I dearly love my son, and said the child has already broken bones, please let him go, but they just beat him more.
My sister’s son Feng Haiyang, a 23 year old active-duty member of the 92054th army in Fujian, also lives with us, and thus had a uniform and military nametag in the house. Around 9 at night, he reported to law enforcement with his mother that our house was about to be bulldozed, but that there were still valuables inside. He asked whether they might report this to higher authorities so that we can get our valuables out, or maybe you can save the house. These pleas were all refused. Feng saw the house demolished with his own eyes. Furious, he pushed through the police lines to enter [the demolitioner’s office], whereupon he was held to the ground and beaten by six or seven masked workers. They hurt him everywhere, until he couldn’t move, at which point he was dragged out and held to the ground while his cell phone was stolen. Finally, they dragged him 200 meters to the police van, squeezed him in, and then attacked him with electrified clubs.
According to the introduction, businessmen were cooperating illegally with the police in the area to evict people and destroy houses, which could then be replaced with new buildings. One gets the impression that the family had no warning whatsoever previous to the home invasion and beating, but I’ll admit I didn’t have time to do more than skim the rest of the article. For the sake of perspective, though, the very end of her post is worth translating: “Today, I [still] truly believe the government was founded for the people. Business was not reformed and opened for illegal real estate practices, so I continue to seek redress, and ask the government to quickly resolve this problem.”
From my perspective, it seems like these stories pop up on Chinese blogs every day or two; on the other hand, the blogs I read are selective, and I’m likely to skip over blog posts about puppies and sunshine. So what do you think? Is this just some local hooligans, or evidence of a much deeper problem, or both? And do you think Zhao will have any luck getting help from the government?