Bloody Conflict in Sichuan Leaves Villager in Critical Condition

June 17, 2008 Updated: June 17, 2008

More than 20 villagers were injured while trying to stop the police from forcibly taking their land in Sichuan province last Friday.

Tensions have been running high in Qingpi Village, Panlian Township, Miyi County after a couple of land acquisitions occurred. Authorities had appropriated 50 acres of land from villagers to build a tobacco storage center and two acres for road construction.

On June 13 Local authorities sent about 70 police and 100 others to remove a vegetable greenhouse in Qingpi to make way for the tobacco storage center.

Upset villagers tried to stop the police and a crowd gathered to watch as the violence unfolded. Traffic was blocked for more than an hour and many witnesses spoke about the brutality of the police as they openly beat the villagers.

One villager, Mr. Qiu said the police beat two people until they were unconscious.

“We were not allowed to say a word. Four armed policemen beat a male villager. Two villagers were beaten until they were no longer conscious. Many others were injured.

“The police just left the wounded villagers on the ground. The injured people were eventually taken to hospital by other villagers.”

“Mayor He Wei personally ordered the suppression of the villagers. They tried to force the villagers to demolish the local vegetable greenhouse. The villagers were not willing to do that. They sent armed police to fight the villagers,” Mr. Qui said.

Another villager, Mr. Fan, said he was disgusted by the behavior of the police and the local authorities.

“The police beat our people. More than 20 were injured and a villager was hospitalized and is in critical condition. Another villager was also seriously injured.”

“Six people were arrested last night. Two other villagers were sent to the detention center.”

“We wanted to stop them in order to survive. But they beat us and they were really fierce. We farmers were powerless against them.”

Reporters called the Miyi County Public Security Bureau but no one answered.

Around 600 people live in Qingpi Village.