Firsthand Account of Two Chinese Artists Arrested and Beaten
Artist Yang Licai writes about the Beijing police’s mistreatment of both him and fellow artist Wu Yuren. Thanks to Diane Gatterdam and the Under the Jacaranda Tree blog:
At around 3 pm on May 31, 2010, about 20 men came to my studio and took the generator by force. I recognized some security guards from 798 property management among them. I went to the police patrol station (警务工作站) at 798 to report the case and identified the man who took the generator to a policeman named Hou Kun. Hou Kun told me that they are all from 798 property management and my generator was there too. He said I can only file a police report at the police station. I called 110 as he suggested.
I also called Wu Yuren and my younger brother to tell them about the generator. Soon Wu Yuren came to the 798 police workstation in a scooter and we sprayed a few graffiti at the walls in 798 in protest. It was something like: “798 property management robs, shameless.” Then Luan Xiaoyong, a policeman from Jiuxianqiao police station arrived in a police car. I decided to go to the police station to file a report and Wu said he would go with me. So he put his scooter away and went to the police station with me in the police car.
At around 4 pm, police told us to wait in the waiting room. About 20 minutes later they took us to an interrogation room. The police officers who handled the case didn’t ask us anything about the crime we were there to report, instead they held me and Wu Yuren (without any oral or written subpoena). We were not allowed to leave the room or make phone calls or go buy drinking water. I questioned the police: I said, “I am the victim and have come to report a case. So why don’t you record my report but hold me in custody? Wu Yuren is only accompanying me, why do you hold him in custody? On what legal grounds do you do this?”