More than 100 Africans living in Guangzhou surrounded a police station to protest after at least one African running a stall in a clothing market allegedly died in a police raid, Chinese media reported yesterday.
The official Xinhua news agency said protesters believed one African had died in a brawl on Wednesday in Guangzhou after police staged passport and visa checks at the market. Other protesters said two people died, it reported.
A Guangzhou police statement issued on Wednesday said two foreigners were injured when they jumped out of windows after police conducted checks on the second floor of the Tangqi clothes plaza. It did not mention any deaths or give the nationalities of the injured.
Protests by foreigners in China are unusual.
Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post said most of the protesters were Nigerians. Citing witnesses, the paper reported that protesters carried the body of a dead Nigerian man, Emmanul Egisimba, to the police station to demand an explanation after the man had died jumping out of a second-floor window during the police raid.
The protesters were also angry at being denied visa extensions because of tighter controls ahead of October’s commemorations of the 60th anniversary of communist rule in China, it said.
Hong Kong Cable TV said two Africans fell to their deaths in the police raid. It showed footage of dozens of Africans gathered outside the police station. It said hundreds of police were deployed and nearby areas were cordoned off.
The protesters eventually dispersed, the reports said.