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24 Mai 2006

Radio Free Asia

China Jails 13 Shanwei Villagers, Cautions Crackdown Officials

Thirteen villagers detained by the authorities after last year's Dec. 6 clashes in the southern Chinese township of Dongzhou have been sentenced to between three and seven years' imprisonment by a local court for "illegally manufacturing explosives," "disturbing public order," and "illegally assembling to disrupt transport services."...Local media at the time characterized the clashes, which blew up after riot police dispersed a crowd of protesters angry over a land deal surrounding a local power plant project, as a “serious law-breaking incident.” But witnesses at the time said police opened fire first on the crowd, which retaliated with home-made explosives...Shanwei's Vice-Party Secretary Liu Jinsheng, who is in charge of the city's law and order, received a "stern warning" from the Party. The city's vice-mayor and police chief Li Min and director of the city's Bureau of Construction Chen Huinan both received warnings..."The penalty for the villagers is too heavy but for the officials the penalty is too light. At least the officials should have been handed prison terms and had their property confiscated," [a] villager told RFA's Cantonese service.