A Shandong petitioner discovered that her family was being monitored by closed-circuit television after she went to Beijing to seek redress for a problem in June, state media reported. Local officials denied any knowledge of the monitoring. Li Chunshua, of the town of Lutou, which falls under the jurisdiction of Longkou city, said she noticed a mysterious camera installed at an empty house next to her home this month, a few days after she returned from a journey to petition in Beijing, The Southern Metropolis Daily reported on Tuesday. The disgruntled farmer had been to the capital to vent her grievances over a case dating back to 2006. 'My husband found a set of closed-circuit television equipment, a computer and a black camera, which is facing the main entrance of our house,' Ms Li said. 'The camera is disguised as a water pipe.' Her husband took pictures of the surveillance equipment and sent them to a computer expert in Beijing. The couple was told that footage captured by the camera could be instantly transmitted to an unknown surveillance centre via a modem. Ms Li believed that the surveillance camera had been installed on the orders of the town government, which she said wanted to prevent her petitioning. Authorities, however, denied the allegation. Sun Xueqing , vice-secretary of the town's petition office, said he did not know who installed the camera. Ms Li also complained that the windows of her house were smashed. She said her husband caught one of the perpetrators, and found he was a security guard from the town's police station. But police denied the claim. The central government has told local authorities to prevent petitioners from going to Beijing ahead of 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic on October 1. State media reported this month that many petitioners had been taken to 'black jails' in Beijing, where they may have been beaten.