In 2010 it was in these same grounds that an official attempted to run her down using a black AUDI with no number plates. The level of violence against Petitioners appears to have increased.
2008 was my first stay in China and I was probably so in awe of the place that everything I saw was unusual and only noticed and remembered significant incidents. This is the Court House where the guard refused to deliver our letter to an official on a floor above in 2008.
|No number plates. A common sight around Courts|
This is NOT the car that attempted to run her down. It is just one of the many cars we saw (but the only one we were able to get photos of) in and around the Court buildings. We saw several each day in the parking areas inside the Court precinct.
I remarked to a Security Guard that the number plates of a car, just near Mr. Gao's office, had fallen off. "No problem." He answered. Indeed there was no problem. Cars with no number plates are so common the "locals" hardly notice them. The unanswered questions are, "Why are the cars without number plates? Without any identifying markings?"
|No number plates on the car. The man on the trike|
appears to be travelling against the traffic flow.
In 2008 my wife (still a Chinese National at that time) and I attempted to go to the Reception Area on the other side of the Court Building. We needed to ask an official for information and it was lunchtime. As we made our way across the area in front of the building a number of guards gave pursuit. They grabbed my wife but did not touch me. They stood in front of me and I kept advancing by sidestepping them and moving ahead. My wife began screaming. I looked back and saw that she was being held in a head lock and her arms were being twisted behind her back. She yelled that it was lunch time and that we could not go on. We left, but I stood at the entrance just inside the court perimeter until lunch was over and we could go back in. We met with no success that day. Days later we delivered a letter to the guard in the reception area and asked that it be delivered to an official upstairs. He refused. My wife rang the Official's secretary and we were told the envelope would be delivered if I wrote my name, Australian address and mobile telephone number and a note that my letter was inside, on the envelope. Delivered or not we had no response to the letter.
A COURT OFFICIAL TO DEAL WITH, AT LAST
Mr. Gao was our contact Official here in 2010. Our first meeting on 17th May 2010 in an interview room and not his office upstairs, was quite heated because he refused, despite several requests, to write his name beside the telephone number he had written on note paper and handed us.
|Mr. Gao wrote his telephone number but refused |
to write his name on this note
Access to Interview Rooms here was through a large waiting room. Court Officials worked behind solid glass windows ignoring us as best they could. Even when we asked them a question they would ignore us. There was a cold water dispenser in the room and most often there were no paper cups. We would ask for a cup to be told there weren't any. We were given a cup once, begrudgingly. Paper cups must have been severely rationed!
THE SECRET ART OF RETURNING CRAP
We could use the toilet down a corridor leading from the waiting room and, I have to admit, that I did not always wash my hands after using it. It was a secret I did not share with Court and other Officials I shook hands with. I often did it in other Court and official buildings I visited. Well you give me your verbal crap and I'll happily give you my genuine crap in return. Pretty fair exchange, I thought. I'm just that sort of (genuine) guy.
THE MEETING BUT NO LAWYER PERMITTED
We had a meeting, convened by Mr. Gao, in one of the Interview rooms with eight representatives from the Courts, including the man we later came to know as Mr. Wang of the Shenhe District People's Court. My wife was not permitted to have a Lawyer or anyone present to assist her, other than me. There was little eye contact with me and their mobile phones were left on the table. Who was listening to and recording the meeting remains unknown.
|"I want to see the Boss". But the Boss is blind,deaf and|
dumb, apparently. So many afflictions for one man to bear.
I have lost count of the days and times that we attempted to see "the Boss" of the Court. Even our umbrella demonstration proved fruitless. The pedestrians, bus passengers and car divers, everyone passing by had no trouble understanding our message. It is illegal to show a banner and the umbrella was the best way to defeat the Law. The umbrellas kept the sun off. Even shaded the Police and guards when we had some minor confrontation with them from time to time. In this photo of my wife you can see a man with white shirt and dark trousers walking toward her. He is very near the spot where the car with no number plates was photographed.
SO MANY THINGS TO SEE
One time I sat on this fence at the far end near another entry/exit into the Court House. I watched a woman and her toddler as she demonstrated on the footpath. Security Guards came and tried to move her on. My wife left me there to watch over the woman and her baby while she went inside to see Mr. Gao. A Police Van arrived ready to take her away. As long as I stayed there the Police would do nothing, in front of a Foreigner, and the woman was safe from being dragged off. When my wife came outside I asked her to tell the woman to gather up her things and go away. She risked arrest and should consider the welfare of her baby. The woman refused and we moved off. We do not know what happened to her and her baby.
|I think I could be easilly seen. Only Court Officials could |
not see me. I AM INVISIBLE and NOT INVINCIBLE!
We had finished a meeting with Mr. Gao and were making our way back home along the footpath outside the Court House. As we neared the area where we usually entered the Court Precinct, we became aware of someone screaming nearby. It was an hysterical young woman, with a very young baby in one arm who was yelling, spitting and kicking at the Security guards. Another woman, her sister, was trying to calm her and take the baby from her. Her efforts were to no avail and the mother kicked at the outdoor furniture set up near a large shade umbrella. We watched with concern for the mother and, particularly, her baby. The baby's head was unsupported and wobbled about with the mother's violent actions. The mother was completely oblivious of the harm she could be causing her baby. A guard rushed at the woman, fists ready, but was warned off (I think) by other guards and he stopped short and left the area, yelling back at the mother. Everyone was out in the blazing sun. My wife walked on through the gateway to help the sister with the mother. At that time they moved from the right side of the driveway to the left numbered side. The baby's bonnet fell to the driveway and my wife knelt down to retrieve it.
|Perhaps if this flew across the blue skies of Sydney |
dark clouds from Beijing would cover Liaoning
Province and no Court Officials would be laughing.
Anyone want to bet that it WON'T happen?
As she rose with the bonnet a black AUDI, with no number plates, came from within the Court precinct and drove straight at her at speed. She was lucky enough to just get out of its way as it went on through the entrance, across the footpath and merged into the passing traffic. It happened very quickly.
Both of us were wearing our Australian shirts at the time as we always did when we were on "Court Case Business". We could not drape ourselves in our flag (that may have been interpreted as some sort of Political statement) so our "Australia" clothing and carry bag were the next best things to show everyone we were foreigners. The Court Official driving the black AUDI had not considered my wife's nationality. He only considered her, incorrectly, to be Chinese and fair game.
We made no complaint against the car driver. Driver- description - Male, Asian appearance with black hair. Car- Black AUDI with no number plates or identifying signs. To whom would we complain and, technically, my wife should not have been where she was at the time. But that small technicality does not warrant an attempt on her life.