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China: Authorities in southern city suspends plans to build crematorium after clashes between police and protesters break out

Author: South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), Published on: 1 December 2019

“Chinese city halts crematorium plan but stand-off between police and protesters goes on”, 30 November 2019

Authorities in a south China city have suspended plans to build a crematorium following two days of clashes between riot police and locals that saw dozens of people hurt and as many as 100 detained.

… Authorities in Huazhou, Guangdong province, issued a notice… saying they would suspend the project in the town of Wenlou pending consultation with the public as people held “different views” about it.

Despite the announcement, hundreds of people continued to protest outside the township government’s offices…

A local shop owner said that although police had stopped firing tear gas and detaining protesters, there had been no communication between officials and the public…

The clashes in Wenlou… began… when hundreds of locals tried to march on the town’s government offices in protest against plans to build a crematorium on land they believed had been set aside for a park.

But police intervened, firing tear gas and using batons to fend off the crowds. Dozens of people were injured and scores more were detained, witnesses said…

The Huazhou government has not released any information about the number of people injured or detained…

Another woman said people in the town… were concerned that a crematorium would lead to pollution that could taint the water supply.

“The [site] is close to housing and the source of our drinking water,” she said. “We’re afraid of pollution. We don’t want money or compensation, we just want the crematorium project scrapped.”…

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