Tiananmen Square crackdown

Mainland protester who attended July 1 rally beaten up trying to return to hk

Peasant who attended July 1 rally says he was pummelled as he headed back to city to speak up for three jailed for joining in annual protest

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 August, 2012, 3:14am

A mainland activist who attended the July 1 rally in Hong Kong was beaten up by a security officer while on his way back to the city to speak out against the abuse suffered by fellow dissidents.

Li Yanjun, 49, a peasant from Nanning , Guangxi province, said yesterday he was pummelled for about 10 minutes before being taken to a police station last Tuesday in Shenzhen.

He made it to Hong Kong the next day and held a press conference yesterday, where he spoke in support of three other activists jailed for joining or attempting to join the July 1 protest.

Li said he checked into a hotel in the Baoding area of Shenzhen, far away from the city centre, to avoid security officers. But two assistant police officers visited him soon after he checked in, asking him to verify his identity. Li refused, pointing out that assistant policemen had no enforcement power.

"I told them to find some real officers to come there. They were very unhappy and one of them beat me. Then they dragged me and forced me into a car and drove me to the police station," said Li, who was due to leave Hong Kong yesterday.

The hotel manager, the only witness to the attack, was reportedly threatened by the officers. In a video recording made by Li of their conversation, the manager denied the beating took place.

Li, who has been petitioning since 2003 against a developer's pollution of his farmland, said he was unsure if the beating was related to his participation in the July 1 protest.

But he said that after the rally, a party official visited him at home in Nanning and asked if he had joined "activities" while in Hong Kong. Li did not respond and was not harassed until last week.

"I have been beaten and detained many times. This time it is not a big deal. They just defy the law recklessly," Li said.

Meanwhile, People's Rights Union of China chairman Liu Weiping gave details of the fate of the three jailed dissidents.

He said Song Ningsheng , who was sent to a labour camp in Jiangxi province, was in bad shape. "He dropped more than 10kg. He is very thin now," Liu said. He said Song's family did not support his protest against his wife's death in an unauthorised hospital.

Zeng Jiuzi , who is also in a Jiangxi camp, was relatively well, Liu said. Song and Zeng attended the July 1 rally with Li.

The third activist, Li Guizhi of Hebei , who was left nearly deaf and blind from repeated torture, was being treated relatively well by labour camp officials who disapproved of police sending activists to the facility. She is serving a one-year term.

Li Guizhi was barred from seeing her bedridden father, who died last Wednesday.