持刀捅官1死4伤 晋朔州强拆血战真相 [In China, State-Backed Land Grab
In China, State-Backed Land Grab Destroys Family
guard before workers demolish houses which are claimed illegal by local
government in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei province on May 7, 2010. Land
seizures have been a problem for years in China and forced evictions have not
been uncommon. (AFP/Getty Images)
Wu Ruian, a grade 12 high-school student with a disabled left foot and
prosthetic right leg, clambered onto his roof to defend the family home
recently. He wasn’t defending it from bandits, but rather government officials
and their cronies. They’d come to demolish the building so they could make a
killing from selling the land.
He took off his pants to show his left
foot, yelling to the demolition crew: “If you still have human nature, do not
tear down our house.”
The crew ignored him. Enraged, he threw his
prosthetic leg onto the street. It did little
good. The incident would end with a dead official, a broken family, and a
The Wu family’s ordeal is one of the many dramatic
stories of forced demolition as it plays out on the ground in China. This
account was told to The Epoch Times in a series of interviews recently. It has
become known as the “6.23 Shanxi Incident” on the Chinese
Though the incident took place on June 23 in Shuozhou, Shanxi
Province in central China, it didn’t come to light until Aug. 6.
Wu Caorui, the eldest son of homeowner Wu Xuewen, 47, escaped police custody and
revealed what had happened.
On June 23 a 150-member demolition crew led
by a district-level Party official surrounded Wu’s Xuewen’ residence at around
noon. The team comprised members of the court, police, street cops (known as
Chengguan), the city’s building department, and hospital and fire-brigade staff.
They knew that the demolition wouldn’t be easy.
Wu Xuewen, the
owner, had armed himself with a knife when he learned of the demolition team’s
They talked it over but, unable to reach an agreement, decided
to atop their house roof for the defense. Wu Xuewen, his wife, his mother, and
his younger son with the prosthetic leg, Wu Ruian, all climbed up.
Caorui, the elder son and a sophomore in a local technical college, stood outside the house and begged the officials to
stop. They ignored him. As a bucket loader was approaching the roof, an official
gave the order: “Get rid of this guy first.”
Over 20 armed police
dragged Wu Caorui away and beat him unconscious with batons. He was handcuffed
and thrown into a police van.
As he regained consciousness in the van, he
found that his family members were being thrown in too, handcuffed and
His mother was covered with blood, both her arms had been
hit, and she was crying out. His father was also badly injured and exhausted.
The father, Wu Xuewen, had actually just killed one of the officials. A
man had pretended to be willing to negotiate with Wu, and held out his hand, as
if to shake in reconciliation. But when Wu extended his hand he was seized by
the throat and the grip on his right hand tightened. Another official shouted:
“Beat him, beat him to death.”
The terrified father tried his best to
fight back and took out a small knife hidden inside his trouser leg. He stabbed
his assailant in the neck. Other officials quickly jumped into the fight and put
Wu’s disabled younger son was not spared either. The attackers
sprayed an unidentified liquid into his eyes, blinding him temporarily.
All told, one official died during the conflict, while four others were
injured. But the officials would get their vengeance.
Upon arrival at the
Shuocheng District Police Station the young son, the mother, and the
grandmother, were interrogated separately. The mother and grandmother were
placed in handcuffs and footcuffs and subject to lengthy interrogations.
The mother passed out many times during the interrogation. It is unclear
what methods the police used, but eighteen hours after the incident, on the
afternoon of June 24, she was dead.
Wu Caorui was notified of his
mother’s death but not allowed to see the body. Along with his grandmother and
brother, the family was monitored by Public Security Bureau and not allowed to
move about freely. Uncles and other family members needed to get permission
before seeing them.
On July 2 Wu Quan, an
attorney at Hebei’s Xingwei Attorney Office, was entrusted by an uncle to
be the defense counsel for the family. But on the afternoon of July 11 he was
attacked by unknown men.
The two brothers, and one sister, were staying
in a hotel when the unidentified men burst in on them. Wu’s brother was pressed
to the floor and had his head slammed against the ground.
authorities in Shuocheng district had been forcefully demolishing houses in the
Wu family’s neighborhood, without legal documents, compensation, or alternative
arrangements for the residents.
In the lead-up to this dramatic
demolition struggle, the authorities had taken a number of measures to try to
force the Wu’s out: throwing bricks at their house and smashing windows, and
even throwing a bomb into their home.
The house had actually been bought
with the compensation money received when Wu Ruian, the younger son, was crushed
in a car accident at age four. His right foot
below the ankle was amputated.
It was an over 120 square meter bungalow,
bought in 2003; one part was the residence, while the other part was used for
the family business.
Wu Ruicai said that his neighbors had encountered
similar incidents: bombs had been thrown into three houses in the area, with one
of the places catching fire as a result of the blast.
Wu Xuewen’s defense attorney said that the entire process of
demolition was illegal. The authorities didn’t allow lawyers to meet with the
family and instead arranged their own lawyer. The process of appointment of that
lawyer was illegal too, he said.
Detaining Wu Xuewen’s mother and two
children was also illegal; the behavior of the court staff and that of the
public security officials were also all illegal, this lawyer said.
According to local residents, authorities in
Shuocheng District of Shuozhou City regularly use violence to obtain land.
Forced demolitions are carried out almost every day, residents said, with thugs
working with local officials to evict residents so the houses can be bulldozed
and the land sold to developers.
China is currently in the midst of a
real-estate bubble, partly because local governments derive most of their
revenues from land sales. The case of the Wu family is a dramatic illustration
of this dynamic as it plays out in individual houses across the country.
Read the original Chinese article.