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Rights Activist’s Family Sends Appeal after Home Was Demolished

November 24, 2008

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that, on November 21, 2008, authorities in Beijing’s Xicheng District used a bulldozer to demolish the home of rights defense activist Ni Yulan (倪玉兰), who has been in detention since April 2008 without a trial. Her husband, Dong Jiqin (董继勤),has been made homeless and has been sleeping in a train station in Beijing since the forced demolition. Dong has asked HRIC to issue an appeal on his behalf (see below), to call public attention to the plight of the family, and for assistance to the family.

...the developers and relevant government department never entered into talks with the family regarding issues of demolition and compensation...

According to Dong, the demolished house is the private property lawfully co-owned by Dong’s family. Dong Jiqin and Ni Yulan have legal rights to the property. Because Ni Yulan was a rights defense activist, however, the developers and relevant government department never entered into talks with the family regarding issues of demolition and compensation. The result was an illegal operation, utilizing official power to carry out forced eviction.

Ni Yulan is handicapped and relies on two crutches to walk. She became a rights defender so that she could use the law to defend her own rights and interests. She also helped other petitioners and people who lost their homes to fight for their lawful rights, and was beaten and detained many times by the authorities because of her work. In April 2008, she was officially arrested on suspicion of “obstructing official business.” She was originally scheduled to be tried on August 4, but the court postponed the trial without explanation. Ni Yulan has been detained in the Beijing Xicheng Detention Center and has suffered beatings and other ill-treatment, which resulted in her poor health.

To Human Rights in China: An Appeal for Help

Ni Yulan was illegally taken into custody and has been detained without trial. She has been held hostage and her home was illegally and forcibly demolished.

[Translation by Human Rights in China]

On November 21, 2008, at 8:00 a.m., 200 to 300 people surrounded Ni Yulan’s home. Among them were government officials of Beijing’s Xicheng District, developers, judges, and uniformed and undercover police.

At 8:30 a.m. they forced open the front door of the home of Dong Xiaoping, Dong Jiqin’s younger brother. After breaking into Ni Yulan’s home, they dragged Dong Jiqin out, and eight policemen held him in custody. They took belongings from the home and leveled the house with a bulldozer, illegally stripping the right to exist from these citizens.

Room 12, at No. 19 Qianzhang Hutong, Xicheng District, Beijing, along with its 0.7-hectare courtyard, are the legal private property of the Dong family, and are lawfully owned by Ni Yulan and Dong Jiqin. Yet the developers and government officials never communicated with Ni Yulan regarding the demolition or compensation and instead, used their power illegally to seize the house and land.

Currently, the situation of Ni Yulan and her family is very miserable.

Dong Xiaoping’s family had no choice but to take refuge at the home of relatives.

Dong Jiqin is now homeless and has taken to the streets. At night, he can only sleep for a few hours at the waiting room in the train station.

Since being framed by the government, police, and the mob, Ni Yulan has been imprisoned in a single-person cell and has suffered abuses. She was only recently moved to a four-person cell. It has been 223 days since she was arrested by the public security agency and lost her personal freedom. She subsequently endured severe beatings by the police. She is suffering from unbearable headaches. The police did not allow her to be treated and did not give her pain medicine.

I appeal to Human Rights in China to mobilize all the powers of justice to help the persecuted Ni Yulan and her family.


Dong Jiqin, Ni Yulan’s family member
November 23, 2008

Address: 19 Qianzhang Hutong, Xicheng District, Beijing
Telephone: 8197-7314

For further information on forced evictions and petitioning, see:

  • About the Issue: Evictions and the Olympics, August 2008,;
  • HRIC Press Advisory: Petitioners Face Ongoing Abuse, March 3, 2008,;
  • About the Issue: The Olympics and the Right to Criticize, March 2008,
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