BEIJING - China's government is detaining political and
health activists and warning others not to protest as its
ceremonial parliament prepares to open its annual session,
activists and human rights groups said Friday.
Thousands of people from around China visit Beijing each year
during the parliament session, hoping to air complaints about
corruption and other problems. Police routinely detain them and
send them home.
This year, those detained or warned include AIDS patients who
want better medical care and people who have petitioned the
government over the loss of their homes for redevelopment.
Liu Xinjuan, an activist who has previously complained about
urban homes being demolished without proper compensation, was
sent home to Shanghai from Beijing and forced into a mental
hospital, said New York-based watchdog group Human Rights in
A woman who answered the phone at Shanghai's Minxin Mental Health
Center confirmed on Friday that Liu was there.
The woman, who identified herself only by the surname Zhang,
refused to give any details about Liu's case, or say when she
would be released.
Also, police have warned about 10 people in the southern province
of Henan - who say they were infected with HIV by an unsanitary
blood-buying scheme - not to go to Beijing, veteran health
activist Wan Yanhai, who is based in the capital, said earlier.
Farmers, laid-off workers and evicted families travel to Beijing
from China's remote, impoverished hinterlands every year, hoping
to explain their problems to delegates at China's annual National
This year's session starts Sunday.
Edited by Alan Soughley