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VOA’s follow-up report on the detention and battery of Teng Biao, Zhang Yongpan when they visited Fan Yafeng’s home

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December 28, 2010. Reporter: Lu Yang/Washington Translated by China Aid Association
The incident in which Chinese legal scholar Teng Biao was detained and verbally and physically abused by local police in Beijing has attracted international attention.  The Wall Street Journal carried Teng Biao’s account of how he was brutally treated.  Teng Biao said he is drafting legal documents related to this incident in preparation for suing the police in accordance with law for restricting his personal freedom.
Overseas media are paying close attention to Teng Biao’s case

The Wall Street Journal on Dec. 28 carried Teng Biao’s report entitled “A Hole to Bury You” in which he describes in detail what he and photographer Zhang Yongpan went through on the night of Dec. 23.  The US-based human rights organization ChinaAid Association also posted Teng Biao’s piece on its English website.
Teng Biao is a lecturer at China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing and a prominent human rights activist.  In his piece, he says that on Dec. 23, he and Zhang Yongpan went to the residence of Fan Yafeng, the scholar who had been “disappeared,” where they got into an altercation with officers from the Shuangyushu Police Station.  They were taken to the police station where they were very rudely treated.
Teng Biao: We are preparing to sue in accordance with law.
This afternoon (Dec. 28) Beijing time, Teng Biao told the VOA reporter that they are preparing legal documents to take legal action.  “We are preparing documents according to the relevant legal provisions to file a lawsuit or go for administrative review.  The act of taking me and Zhang Yongpan to the Public Security Bureau and restricting our personal freedom was a violation of the law.  What the officers of the Shuangyushu Police Station did constitutes the crime of illegal detention.
In his piece, Teng Biao says that when they entered the door of Fan Yafeng’s residence, the plain-clothed officer immediately followed them inside and then said in a very arrogant manner that he was a police officer and wanted to check Teng Biao and Zhang’s IDs.  Teng Biao wanted this plain-clothed officer to show his identification first.  Then, more police officers arrived.
According to Teng Biao, one of the police officers showed his police ID.  So he said to this police officer that according to Article 15 of the National Identity Card Law, the present circumstances did not meet the legal requirements to check other people’s IDs.  The police said they were questioning Teng Biao and Zhang pursuant to the People’s Police Law.  Teng Biao retorted that the questioning in the People’s Police Law applies to criminal suspects. Since they were simply people visiting friends, the police did not have the right to question them.  In this way, Teng Biao and Zhang Yongpan were shoved and dragged to Shuangyushu Police Station.
According to Teng Biao, he and Zhang Yongpan were verbally abused at the police station, “all the dirtiest possible cusswords found in the Beijing dialect, standard Chinese and underworld slang came pouring out.”
Teng Biao wrote this description: At the Shuangyushu Police Station “many officers crowded in on me, violently wringing my arms, pinning my head down, grabbing my neck, pushing and shoving me to the floor.” Zhang Yongpan who was detained together with Lawyer Teng Biao told a VOA reporter earlier that he had the same experience as Lawyer Teng Biao at Shuangyushu Police Station where the police swore at him and pinned his head to the floor and beat him.
Li Heping: It is absurd to treat citizens in such a violent manner for exercising their normal citizen’s rights.
Li Heping, a human rights lawyer in Beijing, told VOA, with regard to the Teng Biao, Zhang Yongpan beating incident, in China, citizens being arbitrarily arrested or being “disappeared” is already commonplace. He said, the fact that what Teng Biao and Zhang Yongpan experienced this time happened in Beijing is even more absurd.
He said that for Teng Biao and Zhang Yongpan to visit Fan Yafeng or Fan Yafeng’s mother, or for us to visit Fan Yafeng or Fan Yafeng’s mother as we did a while before this incident, these are all the most basic rights of a citizen.  Yet, this basic right is actually not guaranteed in Beijing.  And furthermore, they were rudely treated.  I think this is very ridiculous.
Lawyer Li Heping said that it is really shameful that such an act of human rights abuse happened in Beijing, the capital city of China.
It is reported that the United Nations International Convention for the Protection of All Persons
From Forced Disappearance came into force on Dec 22.  According to the Baidu Encyclopedia, this international convention was adopted in December 2006 by the 61st General Assembly of the United Nations.  It is the first convention that has universal binding force in banning forced disappearance as a human rights violation.  The convention requires countries to bring those to justice who have committed the crime of forced disappearance and it has detailed provisions on how to prevent forced disappearances and for safeguarding the rights of the victims and their families.
It is also reported China that often uses forced disappearances against its dissidents and has not acceded to this convention.  The United States and Russian have not acceded to this convention either.
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