By: Jessica Ties
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia
BEIJING, China – Liu Ping was detained by local authorities on March 6 for running as an independent candidate in China’s Jiangxi province.
Liu was detained by security who worked from her former employer, Xinyu city Steel Group, which is state owned.
Following her detention Liu was taken to a “black jail”, the common name for an unofficial prison, where she was aggressively strip searched and beaten.
According to the China Human Rights Defenders, “her belongings were confiscated, and she was held temporarily in a black jail…her captors forced Liu into a car and drove her back to Jiangxi.”
After being driven to a secret location, while blindfolded, Liu was strip-searched by three women who left her virtually naked and with little food.
While in this location, Liu was forced to stay in a windowless room equipped with padded walls and surveillance cameras where she was monitored daily.
When Liu confronted her captors about the condition she was being kept in, she was beaten until she fell to the ground.
Liu was returned home on March 19 after she became sick.
Since being returned, Liu has endured surveillance cameras being placed at her home and negative treatment of her family members by authorities.
The treatment of Liu was caused by the strong following she had obtained during her candidacy as an independent candidate for district People’s Congress.
Chinese authorities have reportedly warned that independent candidates do not exist and any person desiring to run for election for the People’s Congress will have to obey legal procedure.
Wang Songlian, a researcher at Chinese Human Rights Defenders, described the arrest of Liu as another example of detentions made annually shortly after the yearly meeting of the National’s People Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
Wang asserts that this meeting typically leads to detention of people identified as troublesome to the government. Despite the regularity of these meetings and the subsequent detentions, Wang has express the opinion that “…this year is more serious than previous years.”
Interestingly, Liu was detained the National People’s Congress was focused on passing a revision to the Chinese Criminal Procedure Law which would require authorities to detain citizens in official detention centers rather than black jails. The amendment would also require that family members of detainees to be informed of the detention within twenty-four hours.
Parties opposing the Communist Party are banned in China, with the exception of a few “democratic parties”, leading those who try to run against the ruling party to be subjected to lengthy prison terms.
Elections take place every five years and is responsible for appointing two million lawmakers at the county and township levels in over 2,000 counties and 3,000 townships.
For more information, please see:
The Hindu – Activist’s “Disappearance” Exposes China’s Legal Limits – 27 March 2012
Radio Free Asia – Independent Candidate Stripped, Beaten – 27 March 2012
The New York Time – Activist Said to be Missing in China – 19 March 2012