China / Hot Issues

Woman sues police for abuse of power

( Updated: 2012-12-04 18:45

A woman who was sent to a reeducation-by-labor center by police filed a lawsuit accusing the police of abusing their power.

Zhao Meifu, 54, a farmer from Gaolan county in Lanzhou, Gansu province, was sent to a reeducation-by-labor center in her hometown on Nov 12. She had gone to Beijing on Nov 5 to see her son who is a graduate university student.

She had previously been to Beijing four times to submit “illegal petitions” due to a land dispute with a neighbor, and the police believe that she did the same last time, according to a report from Beijing Youth Daily last month.

Reeducation-through-labor is a form of punishment carried out by police on those who commit misdemeanors.

Wang Fu, her lawyer, said that the Lanzhou Public Security Bureau abused its power by throwing Zhao into the reeducation-through-labor center since she did not violate any rules or regulations, according to a report from Oriental Morning Post on Tuesday.

The local police said in a statement that Zhao was sent to the reeducation-through-labor center in May 2010 for a year’s service, but she was released three days later for health concerns. Given the fact that her health is now stable, she was sent to the center again in November.

Wang, the lawyer, said that Zhao’s punishment violated the legal concept of not being punished twice for an offence, and she was illegally deprived of her freedom by the police.

The punishment is just revenge for her traveling to Beijing, Zhao said.



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