Chinese State Council's decision to survey the Three Gorges reservoir in the late 50s caused nearly 10,000 locals of Chibi City, Hubei Province to relocate. The immigrants in Puqi County were forced to move to Liusanhu Town. The Chibi City officials illegally seized the immigrants' land embezzled a hundred million yuan through taking the immigrants' compensation, disaster relief funds and welfare, leaving 13,000 immigrants impoverished.
In addition, over 70 percent of these immigrants have contracted schistosomiasis, also referred to as snail fever. Though these immigrants spent 30 years appealing, they received nothing but violence, arrests, detainment and sentences.
70 Percent of the Immigrants Have Snail Fever
Hong Yunzhou, the 50-year-old human rights representative of Baotashan villagers in Chibi City, explained that snail fever is concentrated around the Three Gorges reservoir district, and Hubei Province is one of the most severely affected areas, with currently 30,000 some people battling this disease, which amounts to over one-third of the world's snail fever patients.
In early 1967, three communities of Puqi County—Shikeng, Damei and Jingquan—had 22 military units and 135 production units totaling about 9,900 people who, by order of the government, were forced to leave their homes and move towards the barren lands of Dongfanghong Farm in Liushanu Town. This town now is home to six villages—Baotashan village, Liushanhu village, Lalishan village, Tuanshan village, Wujiamen village and Yijiadi village—and contains over 13,000 people. Liushanhu Town is a hotbed for snail fever because of the polluted water and farmland. Roughly 70 percent of the residents have snail fever, but have no money to seek treatment—resulting in 200 deaths already. Many people in the village have large stomachs and are unable to walk.
Immigrants Appeal Over a Hundred Times and Sue Corrupt Officials
According to Hong, the Chibi government and other corrupt officials have taken over 10,000 Chinese acres of the immigrants' land, welfare, disaster relief funds and loans. The acts of these corrupt officials to make quick money are leaving the immigrants in a state of poverty and near death.
Throughout these 30 years the immigrants have never stopped appealing to the government and have already appealed well over a hundred times. Their appeals to Hubei Province in 1974 and 1976 were both suppressed by the officials. During the appeal to the central government in 1981, four immigrants received sentences ranging from one to four years. Two years later, in another appeal to central government, two immigrants received sentences ranging from one to three years.
The immigrants have appealed multiple times to over a dozen various authorities, including over a dozen times to Liushanhu Town and Chibi City officials, Xianning City officials, Hubei Province officials and Shenglin Province Forestry Hall. They have even appealed once each to premier Wen Jiabao and chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Wu Bangguo.
30 Years of the 'Three No's' Policy
The Chinese communist regime's response to appeals from various immigration rights representatives can be summed up by the “Three No's”—no accepting, no resolving and no compensating. From the Cultural Revolution to the current period of Rule by Law, the regime has never answered the immigrants' requests. Instead, government officials have gone so far as to threaten, persecute and beat immigration rights representatives on various occasions. They employ national authorities to arrest, sentence and jail those who appeal.
Hong said, “If these over 13,000 immigrants had not experienced hardships and injustice, they would not have collectively appealed hundreds of times over the last dozens of years. Even the possibility of losing their homes and savings or being detained and sentenced has not deterred them from appealing to the government. At present, amidst the 'Construction of a Harmonious Society' by Hu and Wen, the government continues to turn a blind eye to the historical injustice to those over 13,000 immigrants from Liushanhu Town and continues the persecution through their “Three No's” Policy.
Questionable Existence of a Harmonious Society
Social justice and pro-democracy advocate Zhou Zhirong said, “In the past 30 years, the city committee of Chibi illegally occupied and refused to return 100,000 acres of wooded lands that belonged to the immigrants. Instead of prosecuting the officials involved in the land theft and embezzlement of immigration and disaster relief funds, the city drives the immigrants to the brink of death with deceptions and suppressions. Those who dare to appeal receive threats and beatings. Is such behavior acceptable in their so-called harmonious society?”
Zhou sighed and said, “Why haven't the tears and blood of the immigrants in the past 30 years been able to move the hearts of government officials who call themselves 'advocates for the public's basic rights?' When will those over 13,000 immigrants of Liushanhu Town, who are living in horrendous conditions, be able to see the light of day?”
Zhou exclaimed, “When I first arrived in Liushanhu Town to conduct my investigation, I saw the local residents, men and women of all ages, kneeling on the ground and desperately praying for God's blessings. The residents cried and repeatedly questioned the existence of Chinese law.”