Emeute au Sichuan 四川暴防 février 2009

carte-du-sichuan

Sichuan Villagers Riot Over Quake Relief Funds

The Epoch Times

Feb 24, 2009

One villager died and about ten were injured in a riot in the quake-hit city of Mianyang, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, when hundreds of rural residents clashed with police during a protest over the alleged misuse of earthquake relief funds.

According to a report on February 20 by the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy, the riot took place in Baolin Township, An County of Mianyang last Wednesday, after the local authorities decided to deduct 2,000 yuan (US$292) from the disaster relief fund designated to each family, to use for road construction.

On February 18 many villagers blocked the main road to protest over the quake relief subsidies, and demanded the township authorities to pay them 2,000 yuan of subsidies that the Mianyang municipal authorities had promised.

The report said the township sent police to disperse the crowd. Three villagers were taken away, one of who died while in detention. The news of this person’s death triggered a large riot.

In the afternoon, about 2,000 villagers surrounded the township police station, and destroyed police vehicles. The local authorities sent about 1,000 armed policemen to quell the dispute. About ten villagers were injured in clashes, and two of them were sent to hospital.

According to villagers, although quite a bit of money had been collected from nationwide donations as well as from overseas, all earthquake victims in Baolin had only received about 3,000 yuan ($439) per family, far from enough to repair their broken homes. In addition, banks only gave out loans of no more than 5,000 yuan ($731) unless the house was completely demolished and needed rebuilding. Therefore, most of the quake victims’ homes were left without repair.

The report said the central authorities have allocated 128.7 billion yuan ($18.82 billion) of relief to millions of quake victims, who also received 64 billion yuan ($9.36 billion) in quake relief funds and materials from donation.

However the National Audit Office’s report show that nearly 1.4 billion yuan ($205 million) worth of disaster relief funds have been embezzled. By the end of last November, the Office had received 1,962 reports of the misuse of relief funds, 176 of which are under investigation.

Tensions run high in wake of Sichuan protest

20 02 2009

More than 2,000 victims of last year’s massive earthquake in Sichuan clashed with police over alleged misuse of reconstruction funds and the death of a protester in custody, a rights group said.

The violence occurred on Wednesday and Thursday in the town of Baolin in Sichuan, hit hard by the May 12 quake, the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said.

A government official in Baolin confirmed clashes took place and that one person had died, but gave no other details other than to insist the death was not related to the conflict.

The rights group said villagers gathered to protest on Wednesday after finding out that government money they were supposed to receive to help repair homes had been used instead to fix roads.

Three people were detained after police moved in to break up the crowd.

One person who was among those detained  »suddenly » died at a police station, it added.

A crowd of more than 2,000 people surrounded a police station after news of the death filtered out and a police car was overturned, the rights group said.

On Thursday, police reinforcements moved in, beating protesters and injuring 10 people, two of whom were hospitalized, it added.

About 1,000 police and paramilitary forces were maintaining tight security in the area, the group said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Protests in earthquake region leave one dead, two hospitalised

Fri, 20 Feb 2009.

Protesters in Baolin, Sichuan province, demand funding for shattered homes and an end to police brutality

About 1,000 police and paramilitary forces have reportedly locked down the town of Baolin in the earthquake zone of China’s central Sichuan province, following two days of demonstrations. The protests were called over broken official promises to rebuild homes and alleged misuse of earthquake reconstruction money. More than 2,000 demonstrators clashed with police yesterday in a further protest over the death of a protester in custody, the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said.

Baolin was badly affected by the May 12 quake that claimed more than 80,000 lives and left five million people homeless in the province. AFP quoted a government official in Baolin who confirmed clashes took place and that one person had died, but gave no other details other than to insist the death was ‘not related to the conflict’. Villagers gathered to protest on Wednesday after finding out that government money they were supposed to receive to help repair homes had been used instead to fix roads. Three people were detained after police moved in to break up the crowd, the rights group said. One person who was among those detained ‘suddenly’ died at a police station, it added.

This led to a crowd of more than 2,000 people surrounding a police station and a police car was overturned. Anger at police brutality and arbitrary arrests is an increasingly common cause of mass incidents in China, despite repeated top-level government appeals to local governments to ‘solve’ conflicts by dialogue and without recourse to heavy police measures. The ruling ‘communist’ party fears a spiralling of mass protests as the economic crisis deepens. In Baolin this new ‘tread softly’ message seems to have gone unheard. Yesterday (19 February), police reinforcements moved in, beating protesters and injuring 10 people, two of whom were hospitalised, the rights group reported.

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~ par Alain Bertho sur 25 février 2009.

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