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Chinese Government: No Protests!

Posted by feww on June 4, 2008

Chinese Government Prevents Aggrieved Parents Lodging Lawsuit

Chinese police broke up a demonstration by dozens of aggrieved parents protesting outside a Dujiangyan courthouse over the loss of their children on Tuesday, and prevented them from lodging a lawsuit over a collapsed school building. On Wednesday the police blocked access to the schools that collapsed on May 12 earthquake.


The father of Li Yun, a 15-year-old student who died in the May 12 earthquake, flashes a photograph of her through a police car’s window after he was forcibly detained and taken away from the Juyuan middle school in Juyuan, Sichuan province June 4, 2008. REUTERS/Nir Elias. Image may be subject to copyright. See RTSF Fair Use Notice!

Chinese police broke up a demonstration by dozens of aggrieved parents protesting outside a Dujiangyan courthouse over the loss of their children on Tuesday, and prevented them from lodging a lawsuit over a collapsed school building. On Wednesday the police blocked access to the schools that collapsed on May 12 earthquake.

China’s State Council said Wednesday that the death toll rose to 69,122, with 17,991 more missing and likely dead. More than 9,000 children lost their lives in the massive earthquake. Many parents blame sub-standard buildings were responsible for the death of their loved ones and vowed to press on with their complaints.

“The government has said it will address our complaints, but the officials are too corrupt to actually do anything,” said Zhao Deqin, a mother whose 15-year-old twin daughters, Yajia and Yaqi, died when the Juyuan Middle school collapsed.

“We certainly want to sue the school and whoever was responsible,” said Zhang Xianqing, a parent whose 15-year-old boy also died in the school, in a town near Dujianggyan.

“We will help them solve their difficulties so that they can receive consolation,” a government spokesman said in Beijing. “This is a very painful thing. Who would not feel fluctuations in emotions? It will take time for them to calm down. Much work needs to be done.”

The official statement, however, contradicts some of the parents who said local authorities were harassing them.

“We went to seek justice for the children and they said we were troublemakers. The police were in a row and would not let us pass,” said Li Guilong, 20, whose 16-year-old sister Li Zhuan was killed in the collapse of the Xiang’e Middle School.

Another parent, Li Fuliang, who lost his 14-year-old son aid the police had visited his house to warn him off against “making any trouble.”

“They told me not to go and make trouble. If the government does not give us a clear response I will keep going to seek justice. My child died,” he said.

Reporting Protests Banned

“But the protests by parents have not been reported locally, and efforts by officials to discourage foreign reporters talking to parents underscore the school issue’s sensitivity when the government wants the focus on massive relief efforts for millions of displaced people.” Reuters reported.


Police and soldiers react to being photographed as they guard the entrance to the earthquake-destroyed Xinjian primary school in Dujiangyan, Sichuan province, China June 4, 2008. REUTERS/Nir Elias. Image may be subject to copyright. See RTSF Fair Use Notice!

“This is going to be a touchstone issue that brings together questions about how to deal with the quake aftermath — accountability, the public interest and compensation,” Xu Wu, a former Chinese journalist and now a public relations expert at Arizona State University, said of the schools.

“Normally four to five weeks after a disaster, relatives of victims recover from the initial shock and become more demanding and questioning. I think that will start happening.”

“In Beijing, lawyers have held meetings on the rights of quake victims and issued calls for a full inquiry into the schools.” Reuters said.

“That it was school rooms that collapsed first in the earthquake is a national disgrace,” rights campaigner Xu Zhiyong told a recent forum, according to a transcript seen by Reuters. (Source)

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2 Responses to “Chinese Government: No Protests!”

  1. […] Chinese Government Prevents Aggrieved Parents Lodging Lawsuit […]

  2. […] Chinese Government Prevents Aggrieved Parents Lodging Lawsuit […]

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