China’s Angry Petitioners – Sara Davis

From The Asian Wall Street Journal, via A Glimpse of the World:

This summer, I took a research team to Beijing to document police abuse against for an upcoming Human Rights Watch report. In pairs and small groups, over the course of two weeks, the victims straggled into our various meeting rooms, hidden around the city. Some were on crutches after beatings in detention, while others had lost fingers to torture. Many had the blank gaze acquired over long months of imprisonment. Together, they formed a river of internal refugees fleeing state violence. In thick local dialects, they recounted experiences of police violence, including attacks by local police who came to Beijing to prevent them petitioning.

Recently, China has announced a new program aimed at solving these problems: the state will send these petitioners back to meet with local police chiefs. The program is either naive or cynical: it is like sending sheep to meet with wolves.

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