Activists who try to bring their complaints against local officials to the central government in Beijing say they are being rounded up and detained ahead of a Communist Party leadership transition beginning later this week in the capital.
They include Wang Xiulan, who has been trying to draw attention to what she says was police mishandling of a serious assault she suffered in Harbin. She says she and several other petitioners were rounded up from a village on Beijing's outskirts. Many were sent back to their hometowns.
The crackdown reflects the leadership's nervousness over a transition taking place as slowing economic growth exacerbates public outrage over corruption, social injustice and pollution.