2010年4月17日 To the Honorable UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon,
My name is Yan Hu, and I came from Shanghai, China. As the Chinese government seriously violated the “Universal Declaration on Human Rights” prior to hosting the 2010 World Expo by depriving me and tens of thousands of Shanghai residents of our human rights and private properties, and that I have resorted all legal means in China seeking justice in vain, and that I was advised by officials of the Shanghai government to petition to the United Nations, I am herein appealing to you for justice.
1. Facts and Evidence: On Dec 29, 2005, my house that I inherited from my parents and grandparents was forcibly demolished on grounds that the Shanghai government was going to host the 2010 World Expo. My personal property was also crushed to pieces during the demolition, and my family got no compensation at all for my torn-down house.
2. The Shanghai government has not only been robbing Shanghai residents of their private properties, but also has been persecuting and cracking down on those residents and their families petitioning for their rights. My husband Bin Jiang has been going on petitioning defending our right to private property, and the Shanghai government has been intimidating our family, tapping our phones, following us wherever we go, and has been detaining my husband with non-existent charges. My family has been living in fear.
3. The Shanghai government dictated my work unit to persecute me. The company I worked for has been threatening me, deducting money from my salary and bonuses, depriving me of my right to work and promotion; I was hurt mentally and physically, and in the end, I began to have serious mental problems.
In China, the government has blocked my way to seeking justice by all legal means, and if I went to petition in Beijing, I would be subjected to more serious persecution! The Shanghai government has fallen into an “independent kingdom”, and it does not care about the central government at all. The government asked me to petition to the United Nations. I have no choice but to come here to tell you about the truth of the “Shanghai World Expo”, and tell the international world: thousands of Shanghai residents who lost their homes to forcible demolition are being robbed of and persecuted relentlessly.
The 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, hosted by the Chinese government, is acknowledged and supported by the United Nations; the Exhibition Hall of the United Nations at the World Expo is provided by the host free of charge; 33 international projects of the UN shall be exhibited there. For this reason, I herein appeal to you, the Honorable UN Secretary-General, to urge the Shanghai government to return the looted private property to me, and stop persecuting those Shanghai residents who lost their homes to forcible demolition and relocation as a result of the hosting of the 2010 World Expo, and who had no choice but to go on petitioning for their private property looted by the Shanghai government!
Yan Hu A Refugee of Shanghai World Expo
Phone: 646-522-8122 E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Home Demolished for World Expo, Shanghai Petitioners Seek Just Compensation Date: April 1, 2010 As Shanghai authorities prepare for the World Expo, scheduled to begin on May 1 this year, the five-year ordeal of Hu Yan (胡燕) and her family – whose ancestral home was demolished without the family’s consent – illustrates the strong-arm tactics of the authorities when it comes to official requisition of residential land for the World Expo. During the past five years, Hu and her husband Jiang Bin (姜斌) were the objects of official coercion, threats, and detention as they tried to petition their case to the authorities.
Hu Yan traveled to New York from Shanghai in February this year, leaving behind her family, including her infant daughter, so that she can bring her story to the attention of the international media. Hu Yan told Human Rights in China (HRIC) that in 2004, she received notification that the small ancestral family home where she, her husband Jiang Bin, and her mother Chen Jufang (陈菊芳) were residing fell within the area selected for the site of the Shanghai 2010 World Expo and would be requisitioned. They were among the some 28,000 people who would eventually be relocated to make way for the World Expo. Situated at 13 West Chenjiazhai, Yaohua Road, Pudong New District, Shanghai, the house measured at 14 square meters – about 10 feet by 15 feet.
The World Expo Relocation Policy for the Pudong New District provides for compensation to those who have ownership of or the “right to use” the property, or have their hukou registered at the location.
Hu and her mother had their hukou registration at the location, but Hu’s husband and
father did not. According to Hu, her father has been living and working in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region since he responded to the government’s call to help develop the region decades earlier, but plans to retire soon and come to live with his family in Shanghai. Hu and her mother feel that the family is entitled to compensation for four people, not two.
The two sides were unable to reach an agreement. On December 29, 2005, the Pudong New District authorities forcibly demolished the home of Hu Yan’s family when no one was present.
During the negotiation that lasted from mid to late 2005, the authorities put great pressure on Hu Yan and her mother to sign an agreement for demolition and relocation as soon as possible. Officials at the Pudong New District Gongli Hospital – Hu Yan’s work unit – including the director and the party committee secretary, threatened her with dismissal if she didn’t sign the agreement. The head of the workers’ union told her, “There is no rule of law to speak of in our country; the organization decides everything.” The hospital kept up the pressure in the two years that followed the demolition: Hu was denied bonuses and promotion. Under strain, Hu Yan even attempted suicide.
Hu Yan’s husband, Jiang Bin, began petitioning in August 2005. On October 15, 2007, Jiang Bin went to Beijing to petition but was taken back to Shanghai by the authorities and criminally detained on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disturb social order.” He was held along with death row inmates in a detention center and was beaten and tormented. He was released because the government did not have sufficient evidence to bring formal charges. During subsequent sensitive periods, such as June Fourth or the annual sessions of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Jiang was taken away by authorities to “arrange a consultation,” but was locked instead inside a “black jail,” under 24-hour surveillance and effective house arrest, along with the rest of his family, including Hu Yan. HRIC urges the Chinese authorities to peacefully address petitions and grievances concerning housing and land rights without resorting to violence or coercion, and to respect the terms of the UN Human Rights Council resolution on the Right to Adequate Housing aimed at insuring the rights of those affected by mega-events such as the Shanghai World Expo. Only when the right to adequate housing is upheld can the World Expo’s theme of “Better City, Better Life” be realized for everyone.
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