Last month, a 77-year-old woman by the name of Zhuang Jinghui stripped off all her clothes and went kneeling on the steps of the district courthouse, kowtowing to the powers that be to investigate her case.
Here’s her story as told to France24:
I inherited my house. I opened a clinic there when I retired in 1992; my son ran a shop in the house, as well. In 2002, the government decided to redevelop the area. I hesitated for a long time, and finally signed a contract. I was tricked, however. I didn’t get the compensation the officials had promised me. I sued, and lost. I decided to keep fighting.
Then, in 2004, they sent people to seize my house. I wasn’t home; my sister, however, was. Two hours later, I got a phone call. My sister was dead. I was in shock. I checked the hospital’s records; they stated that my sister had been brought in after she fainted, but had died before she could be treated. Though my sister was in perfectly good health, they later claimed she died of a disease.
In 2008, despite all my petitions to the court, they finally demolished by home. I was confined to a hotel for three days while they destroyed it. I was under surveillance at all times, even in the bathroom. When they let me out, they gave me 200 yuan [22 euros].
The courts forced me to reconcile with Pudong’s Centre for Land Reserve [which demolished my house]. I am very angry about this reconciliation. The land reserve promised to give me 5,000 yuan a month. If they didn’t keep that promise, they were supposed to pay a penalty. Since I had no money left, I had to sign. They gave me the money at first, reluctantly, but after a few months they stopped paying. The courts have been apathetic. They keep telling me they doing research, that I must wait, but nothing ever happens.
Zhuang also says that since her protest, police officers have been following everywhere she goes, and she has also been threatened with the asylum. “I am not mad,” she insists. “I am desperate.”
Thanks Allen Ai for the tip.