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    » 06/21/2012, 00.00

    CHINA

    Man poisoned by the authorities in Fuzhou to stop his petition



    For the last two years, Mao Qiping had sought redress after his house was demolished. He had also led a fight with fellow residents against illegal land grab. After following him, unidentified men beat him with metal rods and injected him with a chemical substance. He died after two days of agony. Like in Li Wangyang's case, police said it was an "accident".

    Beijing (AsiaNews) - A man from Fuzhou died last week after unidentified thugs severely beat him and forcibly injected him with toxic chemicals. Mao Qiping, 58, had spent two years petitioning the central government seeking redress after his ancestral home was demolished in Fuzhou (Fujian), friends and supporters said. Mao had also led others in a fight against illegal land seizures by local Communist officials.

    Under Chinese law, any citizen has the right to petition the central government if he or she feels their rights have been violated by local government. Despite its widespread use across the country, provincial officials are increasingly opposed to it because they might lose their job (and liberty) if their bosses found out about their crimes.

    On 12 June, several unidentified men holding metal rods followed Mao as he went to work, said Li Kuichun, a friend of the dead man. When they reached him, they beat him until he became semiconscious. They then held down as a toluene solution was injected into his legs.

    After that, Mao was dumped in a ditch where he was found by farmers the next day. Although he was taken to hospital, he died two days later. "They wanted to make it look like he fell," Li said.

    Police in Fuzhou, Li explained, told Mao's relatives that he fell to his death and threatened to prosecute anyone who disputed their account.

    When Li saw Mao at the hospital, he was semi-conscious, but insisted on telling him the truth.

    After Mao's death, villagers took his body to a government office for further investigation into the cause of death, but more than 100 plain-clothes police officers and security guards stormed the office and took away the body.

    Mao's death came a few days after that of Li Wangyang, a leading figure in the Tiananmen Square protests. The latter was found dead on 5 June, hanged in his hospital room, which police had placed under guard.

    In that case, police ruled that it was suicide and proceeded immediately to cremate the body to destroy the evidence.

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    See also

    01/07/2009 CHINA
    Activist arrested after alleging police cover-up in murder case
    Fan Yanqiong posted online articles slamming police for not investigating the death of a young woman, killed by people said to be closely associated to local officials. Her postings touched a raw nerve, was picked up by many netizens.

    30/08/2010 CHINA
    Mgr John Yang Shudao, underground archbishop of Fuzhou, dies
    The prelate, 91, died last Saturday in Fuzhou (Fujian). A pillar of the underground Church, he spent most of his life in prison. His last sentence to prison dates back to 2001.

    27/11/2007 CHINA – VATICAN
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    Police detained Fr Zeng Zhongliang and one of his seminarians, Wang Bin, during a visit to the southern province of Guangdong. The priest had organised a meeting with the entire diocesan clergy, whose members are mostly affiliated with the underground Church, on behalf of his local bishop unable to attend because he is under house arrest.

    29/07/2005 china
    Underground priest arrested in Fujian; parishioners beaten and wounded


    09/04/2015 CHINA
    Fujian, fire reignites at chemical factory: 14 000 evacuated
    For the third time in two days extinguished flames reignite and spread in the plant: sparked by the soaring temperature inside the oil storage tanks. The authorities impose a safety zone with a radius of five kilometers, local residents awakened by the smell and light: "It was like the sky was on fire".



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