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Beijing Police Harass Housing Activist Li Jinping

December 28, 2007

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that Beijing police have harassed and intimidated rights defender Li Jinping (李金平).

HRIC was told by the brother of Beijing housing activist Li Jinping that Beijing police intercepted Li on the morning of December 28, as he was on his way to check on fellow rights defender Hu Jia and his wife Zeng Jinyan. All outside communication with Hu Jia and Zeng Jinyan has reportedly been blocked since the afternoon of December 27.

Li Jinping left his house around 8:40 AM for Hu Jia's and Zeng Jinyan’s residence. Shortly around 9 AM, Li called his family from the Changying Township Police Station in Beijing’s Chaoyang District and told them that police officers had taken him away. Meanwhile, the Chaoyang District authorities had dispatched two police cars and more than 10 people to Li’s home to order them to move within 3 days or be forcibly evicted. Around 4 PM Li was taken home by the Changying township police to discuss eviction and relocation issues. Afterwards, Li was again brought back to the local police station, and was permitted to return home at about 10 PM that same day.

Li Jinping is a resident of Shilibao village of the township of Changying, located in Chaoyang District in Beijing. His family, of which there are six members, owns a private house that includes a memorial room for China's former leader, Zhao Ziyang. The local police have harassed Li's family several times since they created this memorial room in January 2005. Li's family uses their land to grow and sell trees and flowers.

On November 15, 2007, Changying township authorities issued an eviction notice to the family to vacate the house and the land, and relocate to a residence half the size without any land, destroying their ability to make a living. Li Jinping and his family refused to comply with the notice; however, thirty other neighboring households have already left.

On December 5, the Chaoyang District issued a notice for the forcible eviction of Li's family from their home. According to Li Jinping, if he is forced to move, he will go to Tiananmen Square and set himself on fire.