On December 4, China’s first official Constitution Day, six former police officers from Heilongjiang traveled to Beijing to attempt suicide by drinking poison outside of Zhongnanhai, headquarters of the CCP and China’s State Council. The public suicide attempts were staged in protest of alleged local corruption. The six were detained by authorities and sent to local hospitals for treatment. William Wan reports for the Washington Post:
The six are part of a group that calls itself “China’s Wronged Officers,” a loose affiliation of about 300 members claiming they were fired or prosecuted unfairly as a result of corruption or abuse in their local departments.
[…] Reports conflicted about whether the six swallowed a liquid pesticide or rat poison.
A former officer who founded the group, He Zuhua, said he was shocked by the suicide attempts. The former officers from Heilongjiang had not warned him or others of their plans, perhaps for fear authorities might catch wind and stop them.
The six had long complained of being fired unfairly without pay or health insurance.
[…] In view of the police, before they could be stopped, the six downed the poison. A seventh person was responsible for taking photos and sending news of their protest, said He, who founded the Wronged Officers group in 2004 after being imprisoned, he says, for uncovering corrupt prosecutors. […] [Source]
The Post’s William Wan reported earlier this week on other members of the “China’s Wronged Officers” group who were petitioning in Beijing, following days later with a separate report that two of his interview subjects had been arrested for talking with him. Traveling to the capital to attempt public suicide has become a common protest method for those petitioning against local corruption in China.