06/10/2015, 00.00
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China, a minor dies at work: the police beat and arrest his family

The body of 17 year old Chen Zhizhao was found decomposed in a pond near Fengyuda Electronics. Family members ask authorities for an honest investigation, who respond with violence. A cousin: "They want to make them pay for their release, we do not know what conditions they are in". Deaths in the workplace plague modern China: the first 11 months of 2014 over 57 thousand confirmed dead.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - Police in the eastern province of Jiangxi first violently beat and then arrested more than 10 people involved in a confrontation with the authorities following the death of a minor in a local electronics factory.

The family of Chen Zhizhao (17 years) were protesting after the discovery of the boy’s corpse, found in a pond on June 6th. It is not clear how he died or who threw him in the water: the remains are decomposed and full of snails.

The boy had disappeared at the beginning of June. Zhou Qiming, a cousin of the victim, told Radio Free Asia: "The police said they found him in terrible condition. DNA tests confirmed his identity. We do not know how he died, and the local government is in cahoots with the factory where he worked, the Fengyuda Electronics in Gongqingcheng ".

The day after the discovery, a group of people went to the police station to ask for an honest investigation and protest to the disinterested attitude of the authorities. The agents first attacked them and then arrested them.

Zhou says the police "want the family to agree to pay compensation of 100 thousand yuan (14 thousand euro) for their release. We have no way to visit them in prison, and we do not know what condition they are in. They are all brothers, sisters, aunts and cousins ​​of young dead boy ."

A resident of Chen’s home village explains that the local population "is angry at the lack of police action ", but adds that the factory management should take responsibility for the death of an employee. The man, identified as Cheng, said: "He was working for them, and after h died ended up in a pond near the factory. Ten days after the accident they had not even notified the family. "

He was able to see the body of the young man, but the police will not allow his body to be taken away for burial: "The agents will not permit - says the cousin - they say that we are creating confusion and making too many problems." The body, according to relatives, has electrical burn marks and this would suggest an accident at work. But any attempt to know the truth "leads to nothing."

The Chinese industry is characterized by the total disregard for workers safety. In the first 11 months of 2014, according to official government estimates (probably revised downwards) about 57 thousand people have died in 269 established accidents at work. According to activists for labor rights, the lack of independent trade unions increases the problem by not allowing the victims to obtain justice.

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