A group of Shanghai petitioners went to Beijing to defend their rights and seek legal justice, but the central government’s authorities expelled them, citing the Covid situation in the city.

On August 15, Sun Hongqin and six other residents from Shanghai rushed to Beijing before the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. They sought to complain about their cases, which have not been resolved for more than 10 years.

Sun Hongqin told reporters that they took a train to Beijing in the morning and then went straight to the State Bureau of Letters and Visits to queue up.

They learned that the State Bureau of Letters and Visits, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, and other petition agencies did not receive Shanghai petitioners.

When they wanted to file complaints to a relevant department, the Beijing police intercepted them to check their identity cards and handed them over to the Shanghai Municipal Office in Beijing.

One of the petitioners, Chen Guoying, asked why they were stopped. The security guard replied, “There is an epidemic in Shanghai, and Shanghai petitioners are not accepted.”

Discouraged and angry, the group recorded a protest outside the State Bureau of Letters and Visits before taking a bus back to Shanghai.

According to Apollo News, Sun Hongqin has been seeking to file a petition after the Shanghai government forcibly demolished their houses in 2010. The government acquired the land for the World Expo. However, Sun and her mother, Wu Gendi, have not received compensation for 12 years.

At that time, a company in charge of relocation took the assessment documents to Wu Gendi, who was already suffering from Alzheimer. Sun Hongqin did not know the evaluation procedure and evaluation process.

In addition, the price figures on the agreement provided by the relocation company to Sun Hongqin were all vague.

She requested to pay the relocation compensation at the price assessed by the government in 2009, but was rejected. As a result, she filed a lawsuit, but it was dismissed.

Since then, she and her octogenarian mother have traveled to Shanghai and Beijing, embarking on the difficult road of petitioning.

On January 2, 2016, Sun Hongqin went to Zhongnanhai to ask for justice, but she had to return to the hospital after it informed that her mother had died of cancer.

Sun said that in the process of petitioning, she was involved in traffic accidents, was mentally ill, and experienced many hardships.

Sun said she never stopped appealing to the Bureau of Letters and Visits to solve the problem. She also wrote to Chinese leader Xi Jinping to cry out for injustice, but no one paid attention.

In the case of Chen Guoying, the government acquired her house in 2000 when a developer came to Zhangjiazhai Road in Jing’an District to relocate.

So far, there has been no compensation or resettlement for her family.

Chen said that she lost her job and source of livelihood during her petitioning process. She was once locked up in a small room by the police, handcuffed, and illegally detained many times.

Chen added that the rights and interests of her family are not treated fairly before the law and that local governments, public prosecutors and procuratorates have become an umbrella for the relocation company and the district housing security bureau.

Some other Shanghai petitioners also went to Beijing to defend their rights, seeking legal justice and human rights for their unjust cases. They include Ding Juying, Peng Miaolin, Peng Jun, and Zhang Yunfang.

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