Recently Hanbin District local government in Shaanxi Province held the public general assembly to demonstrate the criminal acts of 17 villagers for obstructing the government constructions. Each criminal had a white cardboard hanging from their necks, with his/her name and crime written on it… This news triggered some talks on the net.
Frist the news posted on most major media sites:
November 2, 2010, Hanbin District Government, Ankang City, Shaanxi Province held a public general assembly. 17 villagers who obstructed the important construction project were held in criminal custody. The police said the public security authorities will crack down on criminals who threaten the construction company in order to meet their personal desires and to demand for reasonable high amount of compensation. (Pictures from CFP)
According to chief of branch police station Gu King, October 31, the police received a report that the construction site for the new freeway was taken over by over 50 villagers. No vehicles could pass. The police tried to persuade the villagers electing an spokesperson to negotiate with the construction company. However villagers snatched away and destroyed the video camera polices had brought in, in order to record the situation at the time. The police booked the villager who stanched the camera, but the villagers at the scene began to retaliate, some people were yelling, even pushing and shoving the police. Soon after, 40 additional police rushed to the site. Eventually, 9 villagers were arrested as suspects of obstructing construction.
Ankang Municipal Public Security Bureau deputy director, deputy head of Hanbin District Government Yang Peng sated that anyone or organized forces who obstruct the construction work, and by any means forcefully demand so called “protection fees”, “management fees”, “tolls” and so on criminal acts; who riot at the construction site, smashing, looting, burning and assaulting, verbally abusing the construction workers and staff members are subjected to be cracked down by the authorities. The acts of turning off water and electricity, roadblocks, illegal gathering and inciting disturbances etc. that interfere with the process of construction and building, and also the person plans behind the incident, hidden instigators will be severally punished according to the law.
Many Chinese bloggers responded to this news:
From Wuhaibuo’s blog:
At first glance, I was startled. Felt like I am back to when I was 7 or 8 years old, in the last century, in the 70s. the scene of the struggle against the rich and evil landlords. In the picture, the 17 villagers who have cardboard hanging on their necks, dressed in ragged clothing, one of the woman didn’t even have socks on. I looked closely, these people probably have no education, no money, and of course no guanxi (connections). behind them, are the powerful and masculine policemen, but the signs on their necks all have the word “Suspect” clearly written on…
China of the twenty-first century , we are progressing in both legal civilization and political civilization. Such picture is certainly going backward in history, to publicly humiliate the disadvantaged peasants, is itself a crime.
From candylulu007’s blog:
No matter what, even if the villagers are suspects of criminals, we should not treat them this way. Where are people’s rights? Where are citizens’ privacy? Want to kill the chicken to scare the monkeys? in the end it will only back fire! Lead to more conflicts between the government and the public. Is this kind of enforcement convincing?
From Jieni’s blog:
If they are suspected of crimes, then they should be tried with dignity by the law. Fair trial, which is the basic rights “the Constitution” gives every citizen. Any individual or organization have no right to bully and insult anyone in public. Government of Hanbin District, Ankang City, Shaanxi Province publicly humiliated the villagers who were just exercising their rights. It’s the act of “killing the chicken to scare the monkeys”, showing off their power and arrogance, it is extremely despicable and shameful. The gangster logic, rogue acts should be tried by the law.