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China: Plans to build crematorium suspended after clashes between police and hundreds of protestors in Huazhou

Protests broke out in Huazhou, Guangdong province, after the township government issued a notice announcing plans to build a funeral home on a site on which residents thought was set aside for a park. Riot police were seen firing tear gas and beating protesters. Authorities later suspended plans to build the crematorium following two days of clashes between the police and the protesters, and promise to release release arrested persons.

The company in charge of the construction project could not be reached by the media for comment.

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Author: 法国国际广播电台

“广东茂名港式示威获胜 党诺永不建火葬场”, 2019年12月1日

… 广东茂名文楼镇,当地市民不满政府以兴建人文生态园为名征地,实际建设火葬场… 展开大规模示威… 抗争在短短4天内落幕… 有现场影片显示,文楼镇党委书记李伟华宣布,永远不在文楼镇建火葬场…

该报道引述网络指,片中可见,李伟华率领一众官员及律师会见民众,并拿着扩音器回应诉求。他首先承诺,人文生态公园、殡仪馆永远不在文楼建设,乡亲父老不要因为这件事影响文楼镇发展… 李伟华并指,现场律师及有关工作人员会为被捕者家属办理相关手续…
该报道说… 官方态度开始软化,指将会释放… 被捕人士,呼吁民众回家。被捕村民… 由两架旅游巴接载返镇… 据报道称,但部份被捕者被“取保候审”,仍有可能被检控。

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Author: 法国国际广播电台

“广东茂名港式示威获胜 党诺永不建火葬场”, 2019年12月1日

… 广东茂名文楼镇,当地市民不满政府以兴建人文生态园为名征地,实际建设火葬场… 展开大规模示威… 抗争在短短4天内落幕… 有现场影片显示,文楼镇党委书记李伟华宣布,永远不在文楼镇建火葬场…

该报道引述网络指,片中可见,李伟华率领一众官员及律师会见民众,并拿着扩音器回应诉求。他首先承诺,人文生态公园、殡仪馆永远不在文楼建设,乡亲父老不要因为这件事影响文楼镇发展… 李伟华并指,现场律师及有关工作人员会为被捕者家属办理相关手续…
该报道说… 官方态度开始软化,指将会释放… 被捕人士,呼吁民众回家。被捕村民… 由两架旅游巴接载返镇… 据报道称,但部份被捕者被“取保候审”,仍有可能被检控。

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Article
2 December 2019

China: Authorities in Wenlou city promises never to build crematorium and to release arrested persons

Author: Radio France Internationale

[Excerpt translation from Chinese to English provided by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre]

“Protesters won in Mouming, Guangdong as the party promised never to build crematorium”, 1 December 2019

In Wenlou town, Mouming, Guangdong, residents were discontented that the government planned to build a crematorium despite its claims of developing an ecology park… initiated large-scale protests… the protests ended in four days… according to videos shot on site, Li Weiwa, party secretary of Wenou town, announced that crematoriums will never be built in Wenlou town…

As cited by the report, in the video, Li Weiwa led a group of officials and lawyers to meet the residents, held a loudspeaker and responded to their demands. He first promised that the ecology park and the crematorium will never be built in Wenlou town, asking residents not to let the incident affect the development of Wenlou town… Li weiwa also said that the lawyers and staff members on site will help the relatives of the arrested complete relevant procedures…

According to the report… the officials’ attitudes have softened and said they will release… the arrested persons… they encouraged the residents to go home. The arrested villagers… were sent back to the town in two coaches… according to the report, some of those arrested were “released on bail” and might still be prosecuted.

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1 December 2019

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)

“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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Article
1 December 2019

China: Clashes between protesters and police break out over plans for crematorium

Author: South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)

“Protesters and police clash in southern China over plans for crematorium”, 29 November 2019

Riot police fired tear gas and beat protesters after hundreds took to the streets in southern China… over plans to build a crematorium in the area.

Residents of Wenlou in Guangdong province… said several hundred people tried to march to the township government offices… after they found out that a crematorium would be built on land they thought was set aside for a park.

But police stopped the marchers before they reached the township offices, with witnesses claiming that a number of people… were wounded as officers in anti-riot gear fired tear gas, beat protesters and detained them.

Residents also said police raided homes to arrest protesters…

An official from the township government and an employee from a hospital in the city of Huazhou, which oversees Wenlou, confirmed that some wounded were being treated at the medical centre, but declined to give details…

In a notice posted online… the township government said a funeral home would be built inside the 75 million yuan (US$10.7 million) Huazhou Humanity and Ecology Park project…

However, a notice about the same project in late October did not refer to funeral or cremation facilities, saying only that the park would have office space and a canteen.

Wu Gang, a supervisor at Jiancheng Engineering Consulting, a company helping the government to solicit public feedback on the project, said he did not know why the notice was posted…

“There were some negative opinions from villagers, but I do not know the details,” Wu said.

The company in charge of the construction project could not be reached for comment.

A resident said the community felt “cheated” for having to give up their farmland for the project. “We only found out it is a crematorium recently and we are very upset. They should have had public consultation before,” she said…

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Author: 明报(香港)

“反建火葬场示威持续 茂名「暂缓」再咨询”, 2019年12月1日

广东茂名化州市文楼镇居民因不满政府以建人文生态园为名征地却兴建火葬场,连日抗议并引发警民冲突… 网上流传化州市政府的公告,称暂停项目建设。但在化州政府网站中… 公告并没有这则公告,而在[早前]发出的「化州市人文生态园建设项目(含殡仪馆)社会稳定风险评估征询意见公示」中,指出征询期为10个工作天。

化州市文楼镇公布兴建火葬场计划后,触发村民上街抗议… 有人打算到镇政府请愿时,被防暴警察阻挡,引起大批戴口罩的村民抗议,警方施放催泪弹和出动水炮车,多人受伤…「关注化州」、「化州汇」等多个微讯公众号流传化州市政府发出的公告,指鉴于「人文生态园」计划存在不同意见,需进一步征求公众意见,决定停止项目工程建设…

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