In rare move, China jails 10 for holding petitioners

BEIJING Tue Feb 5, 2013 3:09pm IST

Related Topics

BEIJING (Reuters) - A court in Beijing has sentenced 10 people to up to two years in jail for illegally detaining petitioners from another city, state media reported on Tuesday, in a rare case of the judiciary taking on the shadowy men who operate on the margins of the law.

Petitioning officials has deep roots in China, where courts are seen as beyond the reach of ordinary people. Petitioners often try to take local disputes ranging from land grabs to corruption to higher levels in the capital Beijing.

But studies show only small numbers are ever able to resolve their cases through petitioning. In many cases, petitioners are rounded up in Beijing by men hired by provincial authorities to prevent the central government from learning of problems in outlying regions.

The 10, all from Yuzhou in the poor and populous central province of Henan, falsely imprisoned 11 petitioners also from Henan in two residences just outside Beijing for between two and six days last year, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

"The court ruled that Wang Gaowei and the other nine respondents had infringed the personal rights of the 11 petitioners, which constituted the crime of false imprisonment," it said, citing the court ruling.

Three of the 10 are minors and received suspended jail sentences, Xinhua added.

Those sentenced will also have to pay each petitioner up to 2,400 yuan in compensation, it said.

Despite international criticism, petitioners are often forced home or held in "black jails", unlawful secret detention facilities where detainees can be subjected to beatings, sleep and food deprivation and psychological abuse.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Ron Popeski)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Korean Boat Tragedy

Family members of a missing passenger onboard the South Korean ferry Sewol which capsized on Wednesday, look at the sea as they wait for news from a rescue team, at a port in Jindo April 19, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Sunken Korea ferry relatives give DNA swabs to help identify dead

Relatives of some of the more than 200 children missing in a sunken South Korean ferry offered DNA swabs on Saturday to help identify the dead as a rescue turned into a mission to recover the vessel and the bodies of those on board.  Full Article 

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Everest Tragedy

Everest Tragedy

Death toll climbs in worst tragedy on Everest  Full Article 

Missing Plane

Missing Plane

Current underwater search for Malaysia plane could end within a week  Full Article 

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine Crisis

Putin welcomes new NATO head, says better ties with West possible  Full Article 

Japan Military

Japan Military

Japan expands army footprint for first time in 40 years, risks angering China  Full Article 

Journalists Released

Journalists Released

Kidnapped French journalists found on Turkey's Syrian border   Full Article 

Papal Message

Papal Message

Pope Good Friday service underscores plight of the suffering.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage