Interception of Petitioners Continues to Increases with the New Petition System
The Chinese state media reported that the petition system
will change, i.e., separating local officials’ performance
assessments from the number of complaints against them.
Also,the state will no longer issue a nation wide ranking report
While some people praised this move as significant as the
abolition of reeducation through labor, our investigation shows
that people have very little confidence.
They indicate that fundamentally not rooting out systemic
administrative injustices, as well as refusing to constraining the
authorities, will not reduce grievances.
The Beijing News reported on November 11 that the ranking
of officials’ performance will no longer be judged by the
number of petitions.
Quantity of petition will no longer serve as the
standard for reports of criticism.
This “petition vs. ranking" system began after July 20 of 1999.
The Chinese Communist regime initiated this system of
officials’ promotion & demotion based on the number of
petitioners for the purpose of blocking Falun Gong
practitioners from petitioning to Beijing.
A 2005 amendment of the Petition Ordinance entails that party
and governmental officials are assessed according to the
number of petitions in the jurisdiction area.
This amendment has led to interception and detaining of
petitioners including Falun Gong practitioners and people
addressing all sorts of grievances.
Illegal set-ups such as the so-called black security (hired agency)
and black jail (usually hotel) are also created and have caused
Tang Jitian, human rights lawyer: “I believe, to a certain extent,
it is meant to relieve the social pressures brought about by people
trying to address their grievances.
It is in no way to comfort the general public or the victims."
There are media reports that canceling the system of
“ranking vs petition" is meant to prevent interception of
petitioners visiting Beijing.
Our reporter found that since March this year,
this policy has been enacted in many provinces,
and the ranking report of “abnormal rate of petitioning" is
no longer issued by the state petition office.
However, a petitioner reflects that the actual interception and
detention of petitioners have not reduced.
Yu Zhonghuan, a Shanghai petitioner: “The policy was said to
have been enacted earlier this year, but the interception has
They don’t want you to reveal your case. No matter what,
even though they won’t get point deducted, they will continue
They intercept more and even more violently now.
It is getting more severe.
Many have been under tight surveillance
and even detention."
Rights defenders don’t believe that any more policies will solve
the problem if the fundamental issues of the complaints
are not solved.
Yu Zhonghuan: “This policy is useless.
When the problem is not resolved, people will visit Beijing.
The key is to solve the problem, but most importantly,
keep it open and transparent."
The new policy will conduct an individualized ranking report
instead of the nation-wide ranking and report of criticism.
That means the state petition department will issue the report
individually to each province.
The state will also conduct individual investigation of the
province receiving the higher volume of complaints.
Tang Jitian: “I don’t think a slight adjustment in the petition
system is the issue.
The fundamental problem of the petition system is that
it comes with an innate defect.
It is an organization people will go to when there is official
violations and people have unresolved grievances.
Therefore, the problem is about the governmental system.
A change in the petition system won’t help to
solve the fundamental issue. “
Attorney Tang Jitian indicates that such a vertical management
of central to local could result in fraud and fabricated data
in local governments and more cover ups.
Interview & Edit/ZhangTianyu Post-production/ZhongYuan