14-year-old Locked Up in Beijing

Created: 2009-07-03 11:13 EST

Category: China
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The family of one 14-year-old Chinese girl is worried after she was taken by authorities last month. Cao Ruixia and her family were in Beijing, petitioning for compensation after the death of Cao's mother as a result of medical malpractice. Well now, Cao Ruixia is locked up and her family can’t see her.

Cao Ruixia is 14 years old, and now she's being detained, separated from her family, in a Chinese detention center.

Her mother passed away back in 1997 as a result of medical malpractice. The family filed a lawsuit and won, but never received any money.  So her father, Cao Fulin, began petitioning in Beijing, calling on authorities to help set things right. But all that led to was a two-year prison sentence for so-called “obstructing official business.”

After the father was sentenced, his three children sold popsicles and picked up trash for a living.

On June 25, while Cao Ruxia was selling popsicles in Beijing, she was picked up by the Cheng Guan, an urban administrative force known for their brutal tactics.  Now she's being held at Beijing’s No. 2 juvenile detention center, and not allowed to see her family.

[Cao Jinlong, Brother of Cao Ruixia]: (male, Chinese, bite #1)
“My sister and I went to Tiananmen Square where the Forbidden City is to sell popsicles. In the Forbidden City, the Cheng Guan took my sister away. I saw the Cheng Guan and I started to run. I saw my sister in the back being taken away. I ran.”

Cao Ruxia's family tried to get her released on June 28, but were turned away. Her father is concerned about possible abuse that could happen behind closed doors.

[Cao Fulin, Father of Cao Ruixia]: (male, Chinese, bite #2)
“Why did you lock up a child in there and not even allow us to visit? We are worried that my daughter will go mad from the ordeal. Why not let me see her?”

Father Cao Fulin has even more to worry about. His eldest daughter has been missing since December 2006…taken away when she went to Beijing to appeal.