Three people were in serious condition in hospital in eastern China yesterday after setting themselves on fire to protest over being forcibly evicted, state media reported.
Chinese online reports of the incident in Jiangxi Province showed graphic pictures of at least two people engulfed in flames, but many other reports appeared to have been quickly deleted by government Internet censors.
China has witnessed a surge of violent confrontations over land seizures as officials forcibly remove residents to make way for property developments or infrastructure projects, causing official unease over potential social unrest.
The incident occurred on Friday in Fuzhou when Luo Zhifeng, 59, her daughter Zhong Ruqin, 31, and family friend Ye Zhongcheng, 79, set themselves alight, said rednet.com, an official news Web site based in Hunan Province.
They were reportedly dissatisfied with the compensation offered in return for their forced eviction from their homes to make way for a bus terminal, it said.
Pictures on rednet.com showed one person standing on the roof of a residential building completely engulfed in flames, while another photo showed a person leaping from the building while on fire.
The trio remained in life-threatening condition, the report said.
The pace of such incidents picked up last year as profit-minded officials and businesses sought to cash in on a nationwide property boom by evicting residents and developing their land, according to previous reports.
In late April, a Chinese Communist Party official in Henan Province was detained after he allegedly ordered a truck driver to run over a protester in a land dispute. The protester was killed.
In another case, a 47-year-old woman set herself on fire in November last year in Sichuan Province over the planned demolition of her husband’s garment-processing business. She died 16 days later.
‘LIKE A CASSANDRA’: Chinese residents of Prato went into self-imposed lockdown and warned their Italian neighbors about what was coming, but were ignored In the storm of infection and death sweeping Italy, one big community stands out to health officials as remarkably unscathed — the 50,000 ethnic Chinese who live in the town of Prato. Two months ago, the country’s Chinese residents were the target of what Amnesty International described as shameful discrimination, the butt of insults and violent attacks by people who feared that they would spread the coronavirus through Italy. However, in the Tuscan town of Prato, home to Italy’s single biggest Chinese community, the opposite has been true. Once scapegoats, they are now held up by authorities as a model for early,
Reporters Without Borders has accused the Algerian government of taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to “settle scores” with independent journalists, including those covering long-running anti-government protests. In a statement signed with Algerian non-governmental organizations, the watchdog on Thursday called for the immediate release of its correspondent, Khaled Drareni, who has been in pretrial detention since Sunday after being charged with inciting an unarmed gathering and endangering national unity. Drareni has been arrested several times for covering the “Hirak” anti-government protests held in the capital, Algiers, every Friday since February last year. Imprisoning people during a pandemic is “an act of physical endangerment,”
Vietnam has lodged an official protest with China following the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat that it said had been rammed by a Chinese maritime surveillance vessel near islands in the South China Sea. The Vietnamese fishing vessel, with eight fishermen onboard, was fishing near the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島) on Thursday when it was rammed and sunk by the Chinese vessel, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement posted on a government Web site yesterday. All of the fishermen were picked up by the Chinese vessel alive and were transferred to two other Vietnamese fishing vessels
DIVIDED YOUTH: There is a belief that overseas students see themselves as superior, which is compounded by perceptions of their extreme wealth and multiple nationalities Chinese students flying home from overseas to escape the COVID-19 pandemic face a frosty reception from sections of the public who view them as wealthy, spoiled — and potentially contaminated. The number of officially reported cases in China has dwindled dramatically over the last month, but the country is now taking drastic steps to try and stem a second wave of infections brought in from abroad. With most international flights canceled and nearly all foreigners barred from entering the country, the vast majority of returnees are Chinese nationals, including many students. The situation has exposed animosities over class and privilege in Chinese society,