Beijing Police Dispatches 1,000 “Peacemaking” Officers and Assaults Church Leaders

( [email protected] ) Mar 06, 2004 02:02 PM EST

Beijing police harshly beat an underground church leader and his wife to stifle “activist groups” during the annual meeting of China’s legislature, a Hong-Kong based human rights group said, Saturday, March 6.

On Saturday’s statement, the Human Rights in China group said Beijing’s Public Security Bureau deployed “upward of 1,000 police officers to closely monitor and control the movement of certain activists as a means of keeping the peace as the National People’s Congress began its new session.”

At that end, Hua Huiqi, an active house church leader, was put under effective house arrest in the middle of February. On March 5, according to HRIC sources in the city, PSB officers harshly beat Hua after he complained that he was illegally held under watch.

Additionally, while Hua Huigi’s elderly parents were visited their hospitalized son, police ransacked their home and stole the bank book that held the parents’ life savings. When Hua and his wife Wei Jumei complained to the police about the mission money, officers beat them both and questioned them about the source of the money. This time, according to the HRIC, they even beat his wife to a point where she lost a tooth.

Meanwhile on March 2, the HRIC learned that the PSB officers detained yet another house church leader, and kept him against his will in a small hotel in the suburb. Police also place watch forces outside the home of Jia Jiang, the wife of another arrested Christian leader, He Depu.

“We strongly protests the authorities using ‘keeping the peace’ as an excuse for depriving dissidents of their freedom of movement,” the president of HRIC, Liu Qing, said. “The intention to introduce human rights into the constitution will mean nothing unless the government can demonstrate that it recognizes and genuinely respects the concept.”