In the same week that chengguan were accused of stealing coats and blankets from the homeless in Beijing, an undercover reporter has claimed that he was beaten by staff at a homeless shelter in Changsha, Hunan province.
Dai Peng, a reporter for the Sanxiang Metro Daily, had been brought to the Changsha Shelter Centre by police on Monday after he posed as a deaf homeless man stranded by a roadway. Dai was investigating the death of a homeless man who was found frozen to death under a bridge last week.
After police left, Dai said he was interrogated by the shelter’s staff and repeatedly asked for his name, despite indicating to them that he was deaf. He was then kicked to the ground and beaten by several of the men.
The shelter denied attacking Dai, maintaining that staff were applying “temporary restraining measures” (with their fists) after Dai was uncooperative.
According to the Changsha Civil Affairs Bureau, security staff suspected Dai of carrying “bags of dangerous items”, they said that Dai resisted staff when they tried to apprehend him. Why staff were trying to “apprehend” a man brought to the shelter by police is unclear.
Dai was forced to leave the shelter after staff discovered a recording device in his pocket, the reporter says he was forced to sign a document to confirm that he had left “on his own accord”.
The reporter had gone undercover in the first place to investigate why many homeless people in Changsha preferred to remain in the potentially deadly cold rather than be admitted to government-run shelters.
[Video via Beijing Cream]