After being intercepted by authorities in Beijing and taken back to his homeland, a Chinese petitioner was placed under compulsory quarantine. He thinks that, in the name of pandemic prevention, officials are limiting his rights.
Chinese petitioners apply to the central authorities to correct their concerns, usually by visiting and filing their complaints at the Beijing government offices.
After local authorities forcefully acquired it to build luxurious office buildings, Wu Youming lost his plot of land in 2008, without providing compensation. He is from Wuxue city, in the Hubei Province of central China. Since 2009, he has been pleading his case.
He was arrested 10 times and faced torture while in custody. In one occasion, after the police beat him at a detention facility, he lost some teeth. Since then, he has been having trouble feeding.
Wu went to Beijing recently to appeal his case. In order to conceal his itinerary from the authorities, he chose to remain in the Fangshan district of the city, far from the central locations of Beijing. Unexpectedly, Wuxue officials were able to quickly find him. Wu was arrested and held for three hours at an undisclosed location on Jan. 7, before the officials hired triad thugs to carry him back to Wuxue.
In Beijing, Wu’s luggage was left behind. His belongings were worth more than 5,000 yuan ($772), but before Wu was escorted to his hometown, the officials and hired thugs did not help him collect his items.
Fangshan district in Beijing is considered a “low-risk” place for the spread of COVID-19, according to local COVID-19 restrictions in Wuxue. People coming from the district just need to take a nucleic acid test, and if they test negative, they don’t have to go through quarantine, Wu explained.
City and village authorities, however, forcefully sent Wu to Wuxue Second Hospital, where he was put under quarantine with other individuals returning from “high-risk” areas in Hebei Province.
Wu believed that officials had placed poison in his food during the 14-day quarantine at the hospital.
I have had to be very patient, and I have not eaten much. I could smell, however, that my sweat had a heavy odor of medication when I exercised after the meal. I was genuinely afraid,’ said Wu.
By consuming garlic and drinking green tea with lemon to the fullest extent possible, he attempted to detox his body. He assumes this strategy has also succeeded.
But Wu was not asked about it by the authorities. “I have not dared to challenge them. They would find more ways to affect my life if they knew that I had found this out. Wu said, “They just want to take my life, so they don’t have to pay any compensation [for the land that I have lost].”
Wu was taken to a second hospital in Wuxue later on. He was very cautious when Wu was advised to eat more by the officials. He was then taken home, where he was ordered to quarantine himself for a period of 14 days.