For the first time court backs farmers’ case against police
The Shangchen District Court in
Between 2003 and 2004 more than
In April of last year, the leaseholder of the land ordered the destruction of the fish ponds due to the severe pollution. The farmers asked
Farmers then turned to the Zhejiang Public Security Bureau, and the latest lawsuit was initiated in October.
One farmer, who declined to be named, told the South China Morning Post that he and his fellow farmers hoped to get compensation as soon as possible after winning their case.
“We sued the officials because they did not do what they should have,” he said, “but the lawsuits did not affect them. They are not afraid of being sued and their tactic is to procrastinate.”
After complaints to the Zhejiang Environmental Protection Bureau were ignored, the farmers asked the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) to order
Environmental degradation is one of the main causes of the 87,000 recorded cases of social protest in 2005 involving street clashes with the police. Such protest actions often follow failure to get redress from the authorities (police, government, courts).
Yuan Yulai, the attorney representing farmers in
Yang Jianshun, a law professor at
“Previously,” he noted, “people were fearful, unwilling and unable to sue administrations, but now, awareness of how to protect themselves is growing.” (PB)