Human Rights in China has learned that former police officers He Zuhua (何祖华) and Zhou Li (周历) were criminally detained during their recent attempt to petition in Beijing.
Last year, prior to the Communist Party of China’s 18th National Congress, they were among a group of more than 20 aggrieved former officers from different parts of the country who went to Beijing with plans to petition. The group, prior to going to Beijing, issued five open letters on the Internet, calling for the CPC and the National People’s Congress to redress their cases and restore their political and economic rights. Most of the policemen were taken into custody before they were able to protest and were sent back to their respective hometowns.
He Zuhua’s wife, Gao Xueqin (高学琴), told HRIC that He Zuhua left his hometown Xinxiang, Henan Province, on May 16, for Beijing. The next day, May 17, he delivered his petition to the Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC Central Committee. On May 18, He Zuhua and several petitioners, including Zhou Li and Dong Cai (董才), another former officer, were picked up by plainclothes policemen at the International Horticultural Expo where they had planned to attend the opening ceremony. They were released later that day.
According to Gao, who visited and spoke with He Zuhua at the Beijing Xicheng Detention Center on May 21, when He Zuhua was at the Beijing South Railway Station on May 19, he was picked up for a second time by plainclothes police, and was brought to the Detention Center, where he was officially detained on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” The charge was later changed to “gathering a crowd to disrupt public order.”
Dong Cai told HRIC that Zhou Li has also been criminally detained, but he himself refused to go with the police and avoided detention.
Gao added that He Zuhua’s father has third-stage cancer and that his mother, a heart disease sufferer, was admitted to hospital when she received the news of He’s detention. Gao said she has filed an application for He Zuhua’s release on bail pending trial.
For more information on He Zuhua and other former police officers, see: