Tens of thousands of petitioners from across China took to Beijing’s streets on International Human Rights Day, Dec. 10, to protest. Twelve of those thousands were not content with protesting: They attempted to commit suicide in Beijing together.
Around 4 PM, 12 individuals whose homes in Wuhan had been demolished laid banners on the ground with their grievances written on them, and then drank pesticide together at Qianmen, located at the southern edge of Tiananmen Square in the center of Beijing.
The 12 passed out after taking the pesticide and lay on the ground together in a row at the base of a low wall. Later, police sent them to nearby hospitals for emergency treatment.
The petitioners are three females and nine males from Xinchun Village, Jiangan District of Wuhan City, the capital of central China’s Hubei Province.
Their story is a common one in China today. After losing their homes with little compensation, they appealed to officials for relief. Instead of receiving compensation that would allow them to rebuild their lives, the petitioners say they were treated violently and placed in labor camps and black jails.
Pictures of the petitioners lying on the ground unconscious taken by passersby soon appeared on China’s twitter-like Sina Weibo, but were deleted during the day by internet censors.
Epoch Times reached 1 of the 12 petitioners, Mei Cuiying, by phone. “We were so desperate at home. So we came to Beijing to commit suicide in Beijing on Human Rights Day.” Mei said: “After drinking the pesticide, I threw up and felt the world spinning, and then I lost consciousness. I woke up after having my stomach pumped in the hospital. I’m still taking an intravenous drip now.”
Mei told Epoch Times that 12 of them were sent to different hospitals near Tiananmen Square. “I’m in the same hospital with Wang Yuping [1 of the 12 petitioners], but I’m not allowed to visit him. I don’t know what’s going on with other people.” Mei said.
Each petitioner drank about 50 milliliters (1.7 ounces) of pesticide, according to a petitioner surnamed Wang.
The health condition of the petitioners who drank the pesticide is unclear, and Chinese media has been quiet on the incident.
Another eight petitioners from Wuhan came to Beijing on Dec. 10 with suicide on their minds. These were from Lujia Village of Jiangan District, and had also seen their homes demolished.
“Forget it! We’ll just commit suicide,” a female petitioner from Lujia Village, who prefers to remain anonymous, told Epoch Times over the phone. “Every time when we petitioned, we were beaten by them, and placed in black jails. We couldn’t survive there, but can only come to Beijing and use such an extreme method,” she said.
The officials in Wuhan were warned in November that the forced demolitions there were driving residents to suicide. A group of more than 30 petitioners gathered outside the Appeals Office in Wuhan on Nov. 20 and presented a letter stating that, after seeking compensation from officials for three years, they were considering group suicide in Beijing.
The letter states: “We now have no way out and cannot take it anymore, both physically and mentally. We have lost hope, and the reality has forced us to commit suicide in Beijing in order to release us from this suffering.”
Source: Epoch Times
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