The authorities of Putian city in Fujian Province ordered police officers to take over the land that belonged to farmers in the village of Gaodi. Nine farmers were arrested for standing up against the viciousness of the government.
Bitter Winter reported earlier about seven rights activists from Putian city in Fujian imprisoned for opposing the authorities’ unjust reclamation of mudflat land. According to the recently received information, soon after, Putian’s municipal government forcibly took over 150 mu (almost 25 acres) of farmers’ fertile land in the village of Gaodi on the grounds that “the land is needed for railway construction,” and wounded over ten villagers.
On the morning of September 25, the Putian’s authorities sent over one hundred police officers to Gaodi village to confiscate the land. Villagers came to protect their property, and the two sides ended up in a deadlock. When some villagers attempted to stop the forklifts that were ordered to dig up the ground, they were assaulted by police officers.
Over ten villagers, one of them a woman in her 70s, were injured in the process but did not receive timely medical treatment. Instead, nine of them were dragged into police cars and taken to a police station.
Suppressed by the authorities, the villagers stopped resisting and watched helplessly as the authorities destroyed their crops that were about to be harvested. An elderly villager cried, “We relied on growing crops in these fields to make a living. Now that the government has occupied them, we’re going to starve to death.”
According to sources, the authorities first promised to give 46,800 RMB (over 6,700 USD) per mu as compensation. The amount later was reduced to 3,000 RMB per mu. However, none of the landowners have received any payment to date.
“In the past, people said ‘The bandits are deep in the mountains.’ Now, the bandits are in the public security sector,” a villager commented. “As soon as the government sets its eyes on a piece of land or a building, they will forcibly occupy it. The government is totally lawless now, and we are powerless to do anything.”
Reported by Lin Yijiang