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Death During Forced Land Eviction Sparks Protest in Pizhou, China

2010-01-14 08:43 AM EST

 


About 2,000 villagers from the city of Pizhou in eastern Jiangsu Province held a protest last week. It started after a local man was killed when authorities tried to evict the villagers from their land.

 

News about the incident, which was not reported by local media, was posted on Chinese Internet forums and blogs.

 

According to the reports, 22-year-old Li Dongdong from Hewan Village was stabbed to death last Thursday. Locals say it happened when about 100 men hired by officials came to take their farmland by force. The armed men began beating villagers who tried to resist.

 

Li’s parents told Hong Kong’s Takungpao newspaper that local police broke into the hospital morgue where their son’s body was kept, and took it away.

 

Later that day, at least 2,000 villagers marched through Pizhou City. They held banners reading “Forced occupation of land, hiring thugs to kill villagers,” and “Give me back my life.”

 

AFP quoted one woman who witnessed the protest saying riot police beat the protestors, injuring many of them.

 

Since 2008, authorities in Pizhou City have tried to take villagers’ farmland to sell to local developers. Villagers have been resisting the demands, saying the compensation offered by officials is too low.

 

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