At South China Morning Post, Chris Luo reports on the testimony of an Anhui petitioner in the trial of a black jail guard in Beijing:
Wang Weilong, a villager from Anhui province, testified that he was hauled away after filing a petition in 2012 before Beijing’s Supreme People’s Court. It was unclear what he was complaining about, but petitioners typically air grievances in the capital about social problems in their home areas.
Wang said that in the “black jail”, his guards “hit his head with a bell” and once “stabbed him with a burning metal prong”, according to The Beijing News.
[…] However, Anhui’s Beijing liaison office on Thursday curtly denied having any involvement in the case.
“We’ve never heard about this man [Wang],” a spokesman of the office told the South China Morning Post. “And we have never conducted anything that violates laws.”
Responding to Wang’s account in the court, the spokesperson said: “You should know these petitioners always tell lies.” [Source]
Interception of petitioners in Beijing on behalf of regional governments has long been a thriving industry. Beijing has repeatedly called for better protection of petitioners’ rights, while also attempting to deter them from bringing grievances to the capital. Commenting on another trial of ten black jail guards last year, Human Rights Watch’s Nicholas Bequelin summarized the central government’s position as: “one, we don’t want your petitioners in Beijing, but two, we don’t want to know how you do that, and three, if something goes awry we won’t necessarily cover up for you.”
Read more about petitioners, and about torture and its widespread public acceptance in China via CDT.