China: chants of "Down with corrupt officials!" and "Return the land!"
tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Fri Dec 16 00:54:15 GMT 2011
China's Wukan village stands up for land rights - BBC video report
Wukan - home to more than 10,000 people - is a
village in revolt. Local officials have fled and
the villagers have set up makeshift roadblocks -
branches covering the street - at the village's entrances.
This week the villagers' fury reached a new pitch
after they alleged that the authorities had
beaten to death one of their own. That is denied
by local officials, who say the villager died of
natural causes while being held in police
custody. But in the early afternoon thousands of
people gathered to call for justice. They heard
village elders speaking under a giant pagoda.
There were chants of "Down with corrupt
officials!" and "Return the land!" Many also
chanted "Long Live the Communist Party!"
China must end land grabs, amid protests over death in custody
Posted: 14 December 2011
Amnesty International today called on the Chinese
authorities to end violent and illegal land
grabs, as protests by villagers in the southern
province of Guangdong continued following the
death in custody of land rights advocate Xue Jinbo.
Villagers in Wukan have been protesting what they
said was the local governments latest attempt to
secretly sell off their farmland to developers.
The villagers said local Communist Party
officials had not consulted them on the sale and
that they only learned of it after construction work began.
Xue Jinbo, 43, died on Sunday, his third day in
custody. He was one of five people detained last
Friday on suspicion of leading a demonstration in
September, during which protesters stormed
government buildings and overturned police cars.
Riot police responded by beating up villagers,
including at least two children, according to media reports.
Catherine Baber, Amnesty Internationals Deputy
Director for the Asia-Pacific, said: The
authorities must allow an immediate and
independent investigation into the death of Xue
Jinbo, to prove that he did not die because of
ill treatment or torture at the hands of the authorities.
Sadly, despite government rhetoric pledging to
protect citizens during evictions, we continue to
document reports of residents getting beaten up,
detained, or even killed while trying to protect
their landsometimes by the very authorities who are supposed to protect them.
Family members and villagers told reporters that
Xue Jinbo appeared to have been tortured as he
had dark bruises and cuts on his face, as well as
what appeared to be two broken thumbs.
Officials from Shanwei City, which oversees
Wukan, said in a statement that they interrogated
Xue twice during his time in custody. They claim
he confessed to being part of the 21 September
incident, to offences including destroying public property.
On Sunday, they said, he appeared ill and they
sent him to the hospital, where he died from
cardiac failure 30 minutes after arriving. The
authorities said Zhongshan University Forensic
Department conducted an investigation and
confirmed the cause of death, but that they would
be open to the possibility of an autopsy.
Police descended on Wukan on Friday to arrest Xue
Jinbo and four others who had been representing
the villagers in the protest against the land
seizure. On Sunday morning, up to 1,000 armed
police approached the village, according to media
reports, but villagers blocked them from
entering. Police used tear gas and water canon
against the villagers but in the end retreated,
forming a blockade around the village.
The forcible and often violent eviction of
citizens from their homes and farms is a common
occurrence across China, in cities and in the countryside.
Contrary to international human rights law and
standards, Chinese citizens rarely have an
opportunity for genuine consultation before
eviction, rarely receive adequate information on
the nature or purpose of the eviction and often
receive little or no compensation.
Citizens have almost no way to fight a proposed
eviction. Courts often wont accept cases related
to land grabs or eviction for fear of angering
local officials, who depend on revenues from land
sales to supplement their budgets.
Earlier in the year, the government passed
regulations that provide urban residents with
some protections against forced evictions, but
the regulations leave the vast majority of
China's population unprotected, including renters and rural residents.
Catherine Baber said: Chinas leaders have said
they want local officials to put residents
rights, health and well-being foremost in their
pursuit of modernisation and growth.
"Unfortunately citizens tell us over and over,
that their rights are being sacrificed for profit".
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"Capitalism is institutionalised bribery."
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic
poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
Fear not therefore: for there is nothing covered
that shall not be revealed; and nothing hid that
shall not be made known. What I tell you in
darkness, that speak ye in the light and what ye
hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. Matthew 10:26-27
Die Pride and Envie; Flesh, take the poor's advice.
Covetousnesse be gon: Come, Truth and Love arise.
Patience take the Crown; throw Anger out of dores:
Cast out Hypocrisie and Lust, which follows whores:
Then England sit in rest; Thy sorrows will have end;
Thy Sons will live in peace, and each will be a friend.
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