'Premier Wen Told Me Not to Worry'

A Chinese petitioner believed to be institutionalized after she approached the country's leader with her complaint tells her story of the incident.

2012.05.18
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beijing-hospital-petitioners-305 A policeman stops a group of petitioners from demonstrating outside a hospital in Beijing, May 7, 2012.
AFP

Chinese petitioner Lin Xiuli was crippled after being thrown from a building and has been petitioning for nearly a decade over what she says is an unjust court decision in her native Shandong province. Rights groups say she has been detained dozens of times and for about 550 days since February 2007, including in black jails and at the Maidao psychiatric institution in Qingdao.

Lin, who is thought to have been sent back to the psychiatric institution after she approached Premier Wen Jiaobao while petitioning at a Beijing railway station on May 9, spoke to RFA's Mandarin service shortly after her brush with the leader:

"I just happened to hear that Premier Wen Jiabao was coming to visit, so I went to the place where there were the largest numbers of police officers at about 2:00 p.m. The premier came over and a woman close to him shook hands with him. I pushed forward as well, and I gave my petitioning papers to Premier Wen. He took them from me, and then I said to the premier, 'Premier, you really must help me.'"

"The premier said I shouldn't worry, and then went a long way away. He even spoke to me and said he would help me."

"I was then taken away by the police to a room, where they called the [Shandong] representative office in Beijing, and I was taken back under escort. Now I am in a big hotel in Qingdao city. They are holding me here."

"Yesterday, a director of the municipal Party politics and law committee came here. He brought a policeman with him. They want me to get a psychiatric evaluation. I said no."

"Today, they drove up to my family home and paid a call on my sister at her factory in Weifang city and tried to force her to sign the papers [committing me to the mental hospital]. My sister called me up and said she hadn't signed. After that they went and spoke to the factory bosses and they got them to forced my sister to sign the papers."

Translated by Luisetta Mudie.

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