Hangzhou Police, Government Workers to Demolish Civilian Dwelling

August 13, 2007 Updated: August 13, 2007

At 6:40 am. on August 9, 2007, the Zhuantang Town Government in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, sent out about one thousand armed police, city officials and police to demolish Ms. Ye Jindi's four-story house located at No. 27-2, Dazhuqiao Village while she, her husband and child were at the hospital.

Ms. Ye Jindi's younger sister told the reporter, “About one thousand people including armed police and government officials set up ladders and jumped over the fence. They tore down the gate and the front door with iron hammers and removed the property inside. As soon as they got into the yard, they drove in a backhoe to tear down the house. The City of Hangzhou has never in the past sent so many police to demolish a civilian's house.”

During the interview, the reporter could hear the backhoe making loud noises tearing down the house.

The authorities tried to stop people from taking pictures and videotaping. They blocked the traffic to Ms. Ye's house and drove out all the bystanders.

At 5.30 pm when Ms. Ye Jindi returned from the hospital, she broke down and cried as soon as she saw her house had been demolished. She went into a state of shock and had to be taken to the hospital for emergency treatment.

A citizen in Hangzhou city by the surname of Zhou said, “This area is a famous resort. The authorities destroy established farmlands and sell them to developers at low prices to build villas. A villa here could cost anywhere from 20 million yuan (US $2.5 million.).”

Zhou said the officials colluded with developers. The government monopolises the resources for a few privileged people and they only look after each other's interest. Through administrative power, the government is able to take farmers' properties – their only means of a basic survival. Now the government has taken away Ms. Ye's only house as well.

In 2003, the Zhuantang Town government used the excuse to convert the land for constructing a major road. They then applied for approval to build expensive villas along the road. To maximize profit, the authorities forged the official announcement and levied a lot of lands from farmers.

The local residents were very angry with the illegal land requisition. Under pressure of public opinion and media, on July 28, 2004, the law executive branch of the Zhejiang Domestic Land Resource ordered a stop to the road contruction project and promised to look into the case. Nothing has been done as of yet.

The reporter called the Director of the Law Executive Bureau of the Zhejiang Domestic Land Resource and inquired about the incident. The Director said to the reporter, “You can come over to our office, we will have detailed information for you. As far as I know, the demolition is legal.” The Head and Deputy Head of Zhuantang Town, Wu Xiangqian and Wang Guangen, refused to take calls from the reporter.