Chinese Petitioners Detained During Biden's Visit
The Associated Press reports that a group of farmers petitioning for land seizure compensation were arrested and physically restrained for days to deny them access to visiting US Vice President Joe Biden:
The farmers, all women from southwest China’s Sichuan province, filed a joint complaint with provincial prosecutors this week against police in Chengdu, Sichuan’s capital, said Gan Xingyan, 46, one of the plaintiffs ….
Activists and petitioners often try to piggyback on high-profile visits to draw attention to their complaints and embarrass the government. Some hang banners, while others try to invade government offices or distribute flyers at Tiananmen Square. Most attempts are unsuccessful.
In Chengdu, police detained the farmers for days, put handcuffs and leg irons on them, tied them to benches and starved some of them in order to block them from seeing Biden when he made a stop in the city on Aug. 20, Gan said.
“They threatened us and interrogated us without stop and kept us awake,” she said in a phone interview. “They detained us without any proper documents and tortured us with despicable means. We want justice, but we’re not sure whether we will get it in the end.”