Dear Mayor of Zhengzhou City, Henan Province, Ma Yi and other leaders;
CC: Political and legal secretary and Zhengzhou City, Zhengzhou City Public Security Bureau, Mr. Huang Baowei;
CC: Guancheng District of Henan Province, South Gate office; Office of the secretary of Mr. Gao Jianfeng; deputy secretary of Mr. Zheng Yonghe:
I am a senior member of the U.S. Congress, the Chairman of the Congressional Executive Commission on China, and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. In the thirty two years of my tenure, I have been deeply concerned about human rights in China.
Recently I learned that in the 106 room of the Min Le Li Yi Hotel, in the South District of your city a disabled petitioner is being detained. Mr. Liu Bingtong has been arrested for peacefully petitioning in Beijing. He has been imprisoned in a hotel room now for eight days without being given food and without his wheelchair so he is not able to use the restroom. His room is filled with an unbearable smell. Mr. Liu is constantly subjected to brutal beatings and his son is missing.
We learned from the report of All Girls Allowed, a Christian human rights organization in the United States, that Mr. Liu has been calling for his immediate release and reunion with his family. According to reporting by All Girls Allowed, Liu has shared how the one child policy has devastated his family. “We had four children, and to pay the fines we had to move to a different city to try to make a living.” In 1999, Liu began working as a concession vendor. Another vendor wanted his place, and when he refused all his goods were confiscated. Then his wife and seven-year-old daughter were kidnapped and detained. His wife was freed, but the couple’s young seven-year-old daughter has never appeared again. When Liu and his wife tried to petition the local government, hoping to find their daughter and see their belongings restored to them, the police responded by severely beating them and raiding their home.
In 2002, when the couple was on their way to Beijing to petition the central government, roadside policemen illegally detained them and threatened to thrown them into the Yellow River to feed the fish. Fortunately Liu and his family were rescued.。After Liu went to petition in Beijing again, Liu was sent back and offered a small amount of money, a permit to have a concession stand, and the right to establish his missing daughter’s case all on the condition that he keep silent. Liu and his wife were threatened with life imprisonment if they did not accept these conditions.
In 2004, Liu was thrown in prison again on the pretense that by actually accepting these conditions, the very conditions they had set, he was engaging in extortion against the Government. Director Wang Xinmin, Zhao Xiaoliang and three officers beat him so severely that Liu permanently lost his ability to walk and became confined to a wheelchair. Liu and his wife had also been sent to a psychiatric hospital where they suffered additional inhuman treatment.
In May of this year, Liu returned to Beijing to petition. The police response was brutal. They confiscated Liu's wheelchair, kidnapped him and beat him mercilessly. They put him in one place for ten days with no due process, and then imprisoned him in this illegal prison converted from a hotel room threatening him by saying: "The last time we starved you for twelve days, this time we will see how you do after starving you for fourteen days." Liu’s wheelchair is still in police hands. Liu has said, "The temperature is very hot, the smell is unbearable. I have lost contact with my son and my wife. Lord Jesus, help me please help me. People please save me and help me to be free. Please help us unite our family.”
I would respectfully request and sincerely hope that you will be able to immediately stop the beatings and torture of Mr. Liu, get his wheelchair back to him, release him from prison, reunite him with his family, and compensate him for all the physical, psychological and economic losses he has suffered in the past fourteen years. Those individuals who abused him and violently attacked him causing him to be disabled should also be brought to justice. We also would respectfully request that the municipal government help Liu Bing to find his lost daughter.
We will continue to follow the situation of Mr. Liu Bingtong and pray for his family.
May God bless China and bless Zhengzhou City in Henan Province.
Christopher H. Smith
Member of Congress