Police raid "democratic" village of Wukan: arrests and injuries

Tensions continue in the area, after village leader Lin Zuluan sentenced to three years in prison. The police used tear gas and rubber bullets to "hold off the protesters" while they search the houses. A resident: "But the government serves the people or itself?".


Guangzhou (AsiaNews) - Searches carried out, arrests and violent clashes took place in the "raid" performed by Chinese police against the village of Wukan. The village is known throughout China for its democratic battle against the seizure of land by the provincial authorities and corruption in the political system. Last week, the village chief, Lin Zuluan, was sentenced to 3 years in prison: to quell the protests of his fellow citizens, the this morning police carried out an extensive operation that led to the arrest of 13 people.

Local witnesses confirmed the use of tear gas and rubber bullets on the protesters: some reacted by throwing stones at the police. Wukan is now under the control of military authorities: People can only enter or leave the village showing documents of residence. It is not clear where the arrested, charged with "disturbing the peace” have been taken.

One of the residents told the South China Morning Post: "The situation shows that there is no longer the law. Using tear gas and rubber bullets against unarmed civilians? Is the government serving the people or itself? ". The wounded include an elderly woman, struck by an agent "without any reason".

Wukan is a symbol for all of China. Five years ago, it became famous when local residents protested against the wrongdoings of local political leaders. In recent months it was back in the spotlight for the controversial arrest of the former village chief.

Arrested on corruption charges, Lin Zuluan is a symbol of the demonstrations for justice that shook the southern province of 2011. He was sentenced on  September 8, to 37 months in prison and 200 thousand yuan in fines.