300 Protesters Arrested After Riot

July 5, 2008 Updated: July 5, 2008

The largest unrest since the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre has been quashed in southwest China's Weng'an County in Guizhou province. Currently a large number of paramilitary and riot police are stationed in the county. TV stations and radio have been urging people to turn themselves in to police.

The unrest started on June 28 in reaction to the authorities' cover up of the alleged rape-murder of a 17-year-old local female student.

On June 30, a Chinese reporter, Zhou Shuguang, arrived at the river bank in Weng'an County where the victim, Li Shufen's, body was found. Zhou told The Epoch Times, he saw many armed forces vehicles driving into the city. Locals warned Zhou it was dangerous to stay. Zhou took the advice and left.

Zhou said, “Armed police are stationed on every corner with rifles and riot shields. The locals said that after the body was examined, it was found that all the victim's organs, including the uterus, had been removed.”

Local resident Mr. Lee revealed to NTDTV, “There are 7,000 to 8,000 troops stationed in town. Soldiers are everywhere. They are broadcasting all day to urge people to turn themselves in.”

Another local resident, Mr. Lai, said that there have been many other similar cases and several girls have been missing or found dead in the past. The police have also ignored those cases. This time, the victim came from a poor family, “People raised around 40,000 yuan (approximately US$ 5836) for the family to appeal to higher authorities. However, the local officials burned the money and did not allow them to leave. That's why people were mad and furious and a mass protest was triggered.”

According to the Information Center for Human Rights & Democracy, a watchdog organization based in Hong Kong, over 300 students and residents had been arrested by June 30. This recent protest in Weng'an is believed to be one of the worst demonstrations in China since the Tiananmen Square Massacre.