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what i've read
from what i've read from chinese blogs and from the post article, the situation is not exactly as you portray it. the four petition leaders who were arrested seem to have serious grievances with the local government leaders. this police action was not to stabilize the social order, but was to silence these critics. |
this is an english translation from the web site "secret china news":
According to information, the village leader of Shijiahe Village was buying land by expropriation from the peasants and then keeping the money for himself to the tune of over 40 million RMB. The villagers ended with less and less land and therefore they were very dissatisfied. They have tried petitioning many times. On one petition trip, the group had a car accident that caused one death and six injuries. Now, the group wants to petition to the central government, and that was why the police came in.
According to the follow-up report in Apple Daily, some villagers claimed that in Shijiahe Village outside Zhengzhou City, the party secretary Liu Guojiao had been taking farm land from the peasants and selling them to land developers. Out of the one hectare or so per villager, it was reduced first to 90%. On June 20, it was further readjusted to 60%. A villager said: "We have not received a single cent from the land sale. The peasants have to count on farming their land!" According to information, Liu Guojiao received more than 40 million RMB from selling the land.
The peasants were not going to remain silent. On June 29th, 400 to 500 villagers went to the district government to petition. On their way back, there was an automobile accident. Afterwards, the Zhengzhou City Committee sent a team of investigators into Shijiahe Village and they promised to disclose the results of their investigation.
But the results were not disclosed. Instead, the investigation team withdrew abruptly from the village on the night before yesterday. Several hours later, at 230am on the morning of July 31st, more than 600 riot police came in more than 50 vehicles and blocked off all the roads into Shijiahe Village. Then the police entered the village to arrest the village petitioners. The villagers were roused from their sleep.