Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Prominent Chinese Dissident Shengde Lian Reports Altercation With Cab Driver

Former Tiananmen Square student leader Shengde Lian was granted a visa by the Chinese government to visit his dying father who is hospitalized for brain cancer in Chengdu. An incident happened around 11:30 PM on August 17 near Lian's parents' house close to Shuangliu International airport.

The taxi driver first ran through nine or so red lights from the Zhongyi XueYuan hospital on the way to Lian's family's house and did not follow Lian's specific request of routes and instead ran up over 20% more fare than the usual mileage.

After arrival, Lian tried to talk to the driver, advising him to be honest and not do this again. The driver became agitated and pulled out a large plier from the car after threatening Lian by saying if this was another time he would had killed Lian already. Lian was lucky not to be hit and possibly killed by the violent driver because his wife pulled him away to the gate of the community entrance. Lian's nine year old son was witnessing the whole violent attack scene and was in shock afterwards -- he could not fall asleep after this attack.

Lian reported this to the Shuangliu Police station after dialing 110 and requested this case be handled promptly and justly. This is the exact same thing as happened in Chengdu a week ago, where a driver killed a young girl after hitting her only because the girl complained to the driver.

Lian has observed that the drivers in Chengdu do not follow the traffic laws at all and it is very scary to walk on the streets of Chengdu where taxi and private car drivers were just running through red lights, among other illegal behaviors, whenever there is no traffic camera. Many cars just drive around passengers anytime and anywhere, disregarding the traffic lights or the safety of others.

Lian calls for the Chinese government to continue the crackdown on such violent behaviors according to the law so no more tragedies like the one mentioned above will ever happen again. Otherwise, those people who conduct such violent acts and crimes might think they need to fear no one as they have money and connection. Without consistent and strict application of law, those people with money or power connection would have no fear of law or other people's safety and rights at all and this will make the rule of law still far away from reality.

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