Zhengzhou villagers, Christians injured in land, compensation dispute between village, developer, government

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

China Aid Association

A group of villagers stand-off against the developer's secur-
ity at the site of the dispute on March 19, 2014. (Photo: China

(Zhengzhou, Henan—March 26, 2014) More than 10 villagers, including two Christians, were beaten during a land dispute with a commercial developer in China’s central Henan province on Wednesday, March 19.

Villagers from Lu, located in Henan’s capital city, Zhengzhou, blocked developers from beginning construction on the project because they were still waiting on authorities to issue compensation payments for this phase of construction.

As a result, tensions rose to the point of violence between the villages and several hundred employees and security from the developer. Christians from Lu reported that more than 10 villagers were injured and that some were beaten so severely that they went into shock. The believers also reported that two house church members were beaten unconscious.

“There were two to three hundred villagers, and there were also about a hundred security guards hired by the company. The 10-some people who were injured are still in the hospital,” a Christian, who only gave his last name, Li, told China Aid on Friday.

“The developer brought a group of security guards with them. At first, they hit me with bricks. Many people were injured in the beating. The oldest person injured is a person in his 80s. They beat him so much that he fell on the ground and couldn’t breathe,” another believer, named Zhang said.

Li also said that the project to build commercial housing units “illegally” destroyed 1,650 acres of farmland.

This isn’t the first clash between villagers and the developer. “During demolition and relocation last year and the year before, they hired underworld gangsters many time to beat the local villagers,” Li said. “At least one woman was beaten to death or smashed to death by them when they forcibly demolished the house.”

“When they forcibly demolished a household in the winter of last year, three brothers fought back, and two of them were injured. When the third brother saw that his two brothers were injured, he wielded a kitchen knife and hacked at several security guards. One of the security guard’s legs was severed off,” Li said.

Also, as there more than a hundred Christians in Lu village, according to Zhang, believers tried to convince the developer to give them a small plot of land on which to build a church. The request, which was made more than a year ago, was denied. The believers currently meet at Zhang’s home, usually twice a week, he said.

Several villagers also told China Aid that Zhengzhou authorities sent out notices to the local media, prohibiting them from reporting the incidents caused by the dispute. The villagers said there have been many complaints made to the Zhengzhou government to no avail.

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Website: www.chinaaid.org