It has been half a year since Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared, and now a new tragedy is being reported. Relatives of those missing along with the flight are telling the media that they are getting slapped around and detained by the Chinese police.
In comments made on the eve of MH370’s six-month anniversary of going missing, relatives spoke out.
“In the beginning, Beijing police were protecting us, but their attitude has completely changed,” said 38-year-old Cheng Liping, whose husband was on the flight in an interview with the South China Morning Post. “I can’t fathom why they’re doing this. I feel so incredibly disappointed.”
Relatives of those missing on flight MH370 say that, in general, the Chinese authorities have been openly hostile toward them. Several relatives told the South China Morning Post that they believe the treatment is retaliation for publicly putting the Chinese and Malaysia Airline authorities on the spot for information.
There were 239 passengers aboard the Boeing 777 aircraft that went missing on March 8. It was en route to Beijing from Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur. At one point, there were a total of 26 countries involved in the search for Flight MH370. Today, the search is focused on 60,000 square kilometers of the southern Indian Ocean near the coast of west Australia, according to the Guardian.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said in June the MH370 likely went down in the ocean and the pilots suffered from hypoxia, making them unresponsive. The report didn’t conclude why Flight MH370 went off its route.
Chinese police are accused by at least two people of being beaten by Chinese police, putting one woman in the hospital for days, according to several family members. Those beaten had children on MH370.
“I went to see her in hospital, I could see the injuries on her head and body,” said Zhang Yongli, 64, of seeing the woman in the hospital. His daughter was on the flight. “The way the police acted was very extreme, it’s wrong to treat us this way.”
Others said they think their homes are being monitored, and others say they have been detained in a Beijing office set up just for family to seek information about their lost loved ones. Some children have even been detained. Detentions usually last about 24 hours.
There has been no official response to the accusations of mistreating relatives of those on MH370.