Sources in China previously reported to HRIC that on the evening of June 24, more than 30 petitioners had been attacked by dozens of police officers as they prepared to depart for Beijing from Shanghai’s west train station for the purpose of protesting against China’s revised regulations on petitioning.
On June 28, 16 petitioners, many of them from the same group, issued an open letter protesting the prosecution of petitioner Xu Zhengqing, who has been held on charges of "disturbing social order" since a previous incident on January 29, when Xu and other petitioners were detained in Beijing while attempted to attend commemorative activities for deceased former official Zhao Ziyang.
Sources in China most recently told HRIC that the following people had been detained over the past ten days:
The revised petitions regulations enacted on May 1 are meant to streamline and modernize the complaints process to better serve petitioners’ rights. The new regulations stipulate that "no organization or individual is allowed to retaliate against petitioners, and offenders will be held to account." However, since the enactment, many petitioners are reported to have expressed dissatisfaction with the new procedures, finding them even less effective than the old ones.
"This latest round of detentions demonstrates a blatant disregard for the new regulations and their explicit prohibition of retaliation against petitioners," said HRIC president Liu Qing. "If the Chinese authorities are sincere in their intentions to better serve petitioners’ rights, they should address the complaints rather than persecute the complainants."