Police rough up teenagers in Beijing nightlife drug bust: witnesses
Indignant parents recounted how Chinese police roughed up foreign youngsters, including some French.
BEIJING, April 7, 2008 - Indignant parents recounted Saturday how Chinese police roughed up foreign youngsters, including some French, tying their heads in plastic bags after they had arrested them in a drugs raid.
An official report quoted police as saying ecstasy, marijuana and other
drugs were seized during the operation in Sanlitun, one of the favourite
partying districts for expatriates in Beijing.
"Some 20 drug traffickers and consumers were arrested, including eight
foreigners," said a police statement.
One parent who did not wish to be identified said the youngsters "had their
heads covered in plastic bags and had to keep their heads bent low throughout
their detention otherwise they were beaten."
"At least one teenager had a pistol pointed at his head and was unable to
see because of the bag over his head," said one mother.
"From outside the police station you could see some of them with their
heads forced down and covered over," said another. "It was shocking to see
these youngsters like that."
The French embassy issued a statement saying it would make appropriate
representations if it emerged that any of its nationals had been assaulted by
police during the Friday night raids on two cafes.
Witnesses claimed that dozens of young people of various nationalities were
rounded up and subjected to force.
Police focused on two cafes in Sanlitun where "drug trading and taking
takes place," Xinhua news agency quoted a police statement as saying.
Dozens of armed police in plain clothes and uniform and with dogs carried
out the raids, blocking off the street where the two bars were located.
One young woman, visibly shaken, described how she had been manhandled and forced to undress to be searched because she was suspected of owning a
garment found with drugs in it.
Beijing police declined to comment on details of the operation.