Account of police raids targeted at LGBT in Beijing
First instance: in the second half of January 2008, the police in Chaoyang District visited the residence of a LGBT activist. They enquired about her ex-roommate residence permit, asked for her picture, and enquired about the nature of her job. The police made an appointment with the landlord and acted as if they were investigating the residence. They enquired about issues not exclusively related to her residence permit. At the same time, another LGBT activist received a phone call regarding a matter related to his residence permit. In the afternoon of 21 March 2008, the day after releasing the news about the signature exhibition of supporting homosexual marriage , the police paid another visit to this residence and enquired about the nature of her job, a LGBT website etc.
Second instance: on 9 March 2008, a popular LGBT night club in Beijing, called Destination, was visited by the police. The police said the club was too crowded. As a result, people’s access to the club was restricted and the music stopped. The club was shut down and resumed business only a few days after.
Third instance: in the afternoon of 17 March 2008, a number of police officers visited Dongdan Park, in the East District of Beijing. Public security officers and armed police carried out the interrogation at the park, taking away the gay people in park to the police station inside the parkㄛwhere more than 40 people were waiting to be enquired. The people taken away by the police were all requested to show their ID, and their details were checked on the computer. They were all requested to write their name on a white paper, and hold the paper with their names before their chest to be photographed. Some people refused to be photographed and released without being photographed. Some others, as a result of refusing to be photographed, and because their details were not found in the computer records, were taken to the police station for further interrogation. A gay volunteer of Aizhixing Institute was taken to the police station because police said that his name was not found in the computer records, and released after the lawyer of Aizhixing showed up at the police station. When the individuals were taken away, the police reported that a person was killed inside the park a day before, and everyone had to cooperate in the investigation. But after being walked to the police station, the individuals were not asked any question related to a criminal case.
In the following days, many people in the park were asked to show their ID. Every evening after 7, a police car drove into the park to inspect the surroundings. For a small imprudence, people would be taken away by the police. Later in the evening, the police would clear out the park. In the afternoon of 22 Marchㄛ 2 young people were taken away by police officers as soon as they walked into the park.
Fourth instance: in the afternoon of 20 March 2008, more than 10 police cars visited “Oasis” club, the most popular gay bath house in Beijing. More than 70 people, including all the members of staff and clients were taken away. After more than 30 hours, in the early morning of 22 March, the clients of the house were released. But the members of staff were kept detained. In the early morning of 21 March, the police visited another Oasis bath house near Dongsishitiao Bridge, and took away all members of staff, but not the clients. At present, these two bath houses have been shut down. It was reported that at the same time, in another part of the city, another gay bath house was also shut down.
Fifth instance: one evening around mid March 2008, in one of the alleys of a gay park in Haidian District, the police conducted an interrogation among people strolling in the area.
Sixth instance: according to information from Beijing Tongzhi (LGBT) chat rooms, the police have detained over 80 male sex workers via those chat rooms in Beijing. A chat room announcement reads as follows: “these days, Beijjing is clearing out the city and carrying out a crackdown on sex work, the police has currently detained more than 80 sex workers, this website does not welcome people with illegal intentions, and hopes everyone works together to fight illegal behavior, thanks for your cooperation!”
Finally, in recent days, a gay bath house in Shanghai has been shut down. Evidence shows that this time, crackdowns are being carried out at national level.
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Many thanks to Mr. Jeremy of PT Foundation for the story.