Hundreds of Police Assault Villagers Who Won Land-Dispute Lawsuit

January 15, 2010 2:05 am Last Updated: January 15, 2010 2:06 am

A severe conflict erupted in Guangxi Province when local authorities sent 120 police to arrest 12 targeted villagers who had successfully sued them in a land-dispute case.

In 2006, the Lipu County government collected 65 acres of land in Longyatun Village to build an industrial park. Two-thirds of the villagers disputed the land acquisition, claiming unsatisfactory compensation. They obtained a lawyer, filed a lawsuit against the local government, and won.

The government then filed an appeal with the Guilin Intermediate Court. The testimony of a certain 12 villagers would be necessary during the appeal. According to the villagers, the conflict erupted Jan. 12 when police arrived at 4:00 a.m. to arrest those 12 villagers, effectively making it impossible for them to testify.

Tear Gas, Electric Batons, Wolfhounds, and More, Say Villagers

Local resident Ho, who asked to be identified by his last name only, said that police arrived with tear gas and electric batons. Others villagers came out to demand the release of their neighbors, and eight were shot.

Ho said he knew that three were shot in the head, four in the abdomen, and one in the arm. A dozen other villagers were injured by the electric batons, and fifty were arrested.

“If the ones who were arrested did not admit to committing a crime, they would be tortured. But if they admitted committing a crime, they would be locked up,” Ho said.

A woman who asked to remain anonymous told The Epoch Times that another 300 policemen arrived with wolfhounds at 9:00 a.m. “The wolfhounds bit us, and the police broke into every household to smash our appliances. We decided to burn the police cars,” the woman said.

“They had machine guns and pistols and searched the village houses door to door, arresting men over the age of 18.” Ho said.

Ho said that when the police left, the villagers had to drive the injured to the hospitals, and the drivers were then arrested at the hospitals. Only elderly villagers and women were allowed to visit the injured.

The Epoch Times reporter called the Lipu County People’s Hospital, the Guilin City 181 Hospital, and the Guipu County government. No one was willing to comment. A call to the public relations office was not answered.

Official media, including the Nanfang Daily, Zhejiang News Net, and China News quoted the official statement put out by Lipu County: Police tried to arrest 12 suspects who had attempted to interfere with Lipu County Court proceedings with violence. Because villagers resisted arrest, the police had to fire gunshots in self-defense, injuring some villagers.

Read original Chinese article.