Professor 'beaten up' by Shenzhen police now claims flat was broken into

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 November, 2012, 3:46am

A Guangzhou professor who on Monday accused Shenzhen police of beating him up says his flat appears to have been broken into while he slept later that night.

The professor, Dr Chen Qingqiu - an outspoken critic of construction quality at his apartment complex - said he awoke yesterday morning to discover his computer keyboard smashed and the shoes and storage boxes on his balcony out of their normal order.

"My shoes and storage boxes on my balcony are always lined up perfectly," Chen, 45, who teaches economics at the South China University of Technology, told the South China Morning Post. "Someone broke into my apartment … from the balcony last night."

The previous day, Chen had spoken to the Post and shared video clips showing him arguing with Shenzhen police who arrived for a midnight inspection of his hotel room while he was in town for a conference. He said he was held for six hours and roughed up by police officers.

A policeman from Shenzhen's Nanshan branch has denied that officers beat anyone up.

Chen said he does not believe anything was stolen from the break-in and that he was not sure who could be behind it, but said: "Whoever did this was not after my household possessions, but to intimidate me, threatening me to stay silent."

The professor had protested during the 18th party congress earlier this month at what he said was poor construction at his apartment complex in the former Asian Games media village. He petitioned authorities in both Beijing and Guangzhou about cracks on the walls of his apartment and water seeping through its floors, in the process earning the ire of the government and the building's developer.

"I'm really stressed out right now but I must remain calm to process what's happening," Chen said. "I'm not afraid … I only fear something worse might happen to me and it will be devastating for my family."