Petitioners Gather in Beijing for “National Law Awareness Da

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Chinese petitioners travelled to Beijing over the weekend, calling for intervention against local government corruption as China celebrates "National Law Awareness Day."

Chinese petitioners gathered outside state-run CCTV headquarters in Beijing on Saturday, to mark "National Law Awareness Day."

State-run Xinhua news agency reported that about 1000 petitioners had gathered there. But by the time foreign media arrived on the scene, only several dozen petitioners remained. Many of their companions had already been taken away by police.

These petitioners traveled to Beijing from across China. They are calling for justice on a variety of issues, from illegal land grabs to pollution.

[Petitioner]:
"They confiscated my eight mu (half a hectare) of land and didn't give me a penny. I have no land and they gave me nothing. I came here to petition them to help me and they haven't resolved anything, instead gangsters come to beat up my whole family."

This woman from Handan in Hebei province wants the central government to rectify growing corruption at the local level.

[Zhang Caihong, Petitioner]:
"Here it is totally different to your country—we have no rights at all. Their slogans say that this is a country ruled by law, but here it's so corrupt that our case of injustice from 2000 has not been resolved even now. We've been petitioning for so many years. We come to petition through the correct procedures and then we get detained, our problems have still not been resolved so we come to Beijing to petition, when we get home we get locked up again."

Unidentified men prevented media from filming as petitioners were loaded on to police buses and vans.

Petitioners have travelled to Beijing for decades to vent their grievances. These petitioners said on Saturday, they hoped for political reform making local governments accountable for their crimes.
Law

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