Chinese village protester says government relents

Relatives cry at a rally and a funeral for Xue Jinbo, a 42-year-old village leader who died in police custody in Wukan, China.

Relatives cry at a rally and a funeral for Xue Jinbo, a 42-year-old village leader who died in police custody in Wukan, China.


Beijing (CNN) — Chinese authorities gave into the demands of protesting villagers and agreed Wednesday to release three detained villagers in a deal that ends a tense standoff and violent protests over land rights, the protesters said.

Villagers and authorities had been at odds over land issues in the southern Chinese village of Wukan.

More than 10,000 residents of Wukan, a fishing village in Guangdong Province, claim land has been seized illegally and then sold by the local government to developers for the past decade.

News of one recent sale of nearly 1,000 acres of land to developers prompted protests by villagers who say they have not received any compensation and rely on the land for their livelihood.

Villagers last week drove out government officials and set up obstacles to prevent the police from entering the village. They say one villager, Xue Jinbo, was beaten to death while in police custody. Villagers were also angered that Xue’s body had not been returned.

The two sides met Wednesday to try and end the standoff. During the talks, government officials agreed to release the detained villagers and return Xue’s body, said a villager who gave only his surname, Chen, for fear of reprisals if he was identified.

Liu Jingmao, a spokesman for Shanwei city government, also confirmed that the talks had ended and police had been removed from the area. But the spokesman did not want to give any more details on the issue.

The talks in Wukan came a day after separate demonstrations farther along the southern Chinese coast. Riot police used tear gas to disperse a large crowd of people who gathered to protest a coal power plant in the town of Haimen.

In Wukan, Xue, 42, was suspected of leading hundreds of villagers in protests over issues of land use, money and local elections in September that led to two days of rioting, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported last week.

From Haolan Hong, for CNN

About pagan66

I am Pagan, a Witch, a Healer, Mystic & Dreamer. I live in Service to the One. I will Protect & Respect Her bounties to my last breath. I am a Seeker of Truth, a Reformer, A Historian - an Advocate for Religious Freedom, Tolerance & Human Rights. I am a Protector of Animals & Children & those less fortunate than myself. I am a Reader & a Writer - an Artist. I am a Drummer, Gardener & Cook. I listen to the Wisdom of the Ancients. If you take a copy of the Christian Bible and put it out in the wind and the rain, soon the paper on which the words are printed will disintegrate and the words will be gone. Our bible IS the wind and the rain." Herbalist Carol McGrath as told to her by a Native-American woman. "When one defines oneself as Pagan, it means she or he follows an earth or nature religion, one that sees the divine manifest in all creation. The cycles of nature are our holy days, the earth is our temple, its plants and creatures our partners and teachers. We worship a deity that is both male and female, a mother Goddess and father God, who together created all that is, was, or will be. We respect life, cherish the free will of sentient beings, and accept the sacredness of all creation." Edain McCoy View all posts by pagan66

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