» 09/26/2011, 00.00
Beijing: zero tolerance against illegal land-grabs
Dozens of officials, responsible for unlawful or unfair evictions, have been punished. But often citizens must take to the streets to attract the attention of authorities. In Lufeng, a truce between protesters and authorities, after days of protesting and riots.
Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Beijing has punished government officials responsible for 57 illegal land requisitions and forced demolitions. Meanwhile in Lufeng (Guangdong), authorities promise "a serious investigation" and obtained a truce with thousands of residents who have been protesting in the square for a week.
The state news agency Xinhua reported that 31 officials are under "criminal investigation" in relation to 11 cases of forced evictions which have caused violent protests in the first 6 months of 2011. In 6 cases, the evictions were completely "illegal", while the other 5 were “badly executed”.
180,000 mass protests erupt in this country every year for economic reasons. In many cases, people accuse local officials of requisitioning their land without fair compensation, to the exclusive benefit of manufacturers and entrepreneurs, even involving the police or gangs of thugs to chase off the farmers. In March in Changchun (the capital of Jilin), a 48 year-old woman was killed during a forced eviction.
Experts note that these 11 cases, where violent protests have attracted Beijing's attention, are just the "tip of the iceberg" compared to the number of evictions without adequate compensation, which bring great benefits to businesses, manufacturers and local governments and that the real problem is the lack of legal protection for those who undergo routine evictions.
The protesters are only seeking justice. Thousands of villagers in Wukan (Lufeng in Guangdong) took to the streets the whole of last week (pictured), ransacking the police station and other public offices and blocking the highway to protest the uncompensated requisition of hundreds of hectares of agricultural land, essential for their livelihood, on which factories are to be built. After days of clashes and the protest being featured on the news, the government of Lufeng (1.7 million inhabitants) has promised "serious investigations" and a possible democratic election to replace local leaders, including Xue Chang, Secretary of the Communist Party for 39 years. The demonstrators have vowed to work together and to avoid taking "drastic" action.
The protests were spreading in the area. In the nearby village of Longtou, residents tore down the fence around 40 acres of agricultural land from which they were recently evicted.
Human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang could get ten years in prison
The police are suspicious over his meetings with former USA ambassador Gary Locke and his travels to Japan. However, their main issue is his criticism of the party apparatus and the career of its princelings.
Cadres expelled if they join religious groups
China: Launched by Gao, the national hunger strike against Party abuse begins.
The campaign was launched by Gao Zhisheng, lawyer and activist of widespread fame in China. " It will go on as long as Party abuse continues, they behave like a Mafia clan".
Beijing wants to implement more social justice, to prevent protests
A member of the Politburo says that social problems and injustices must be resolved, to prevent protests. But police presence will be increased in rural areas. Meanwhile, in Gansu, the governor reassures demonstrators that he will hear their requests, but the police are arresting them.
Guangzhou: police confirm arrest of anti-corruption activist
Yang Maodong, better known as Guo Feixiong, disappeared on 14 September. The authorities have accused him of conducting an "illegal business". The activist is famous for helping residents of Taishi in their anti-corruption struggle.
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
29/04/2016 NORTH KOREA- USA
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.