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China official orders protester run over with truck: report

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) April 27, 2010
Police in China have detained a Communist Party official after he ordered that a protester be run over with a dump truck during a land dispute, killing him, state media said Tuesday.

The incident occurred last Thursday in the central province of Henan, when Zhou Hongyan, 50, sat behind the truck and refused to move in protest at unpaid compensation for land seized to make way for a road expansion, Xinhua news agency said.

Zhou Songyan, Communist Party chief of Zhoudian village, then ordered the dump truck to back up over the protesting villager. He was run over twice, crushing his chest and stomach, the Global Times newspaper said.

The man behind the wheel, Guo Baoliang, was a recently released convict who had pulled out the truck's driver and jumped behind the wheel on Zhou's orders. He also has been detained, the reports said.

The death was the latest in a surge of violent confrontations triggered by land seizures as officials and businesses seek to cash in on a nationwide property boom by evicting residents and developing their land.

In a case that shocked the nation, Tang Fuzhen, 47, set herself on fire in November in Sichuan province over the planned demolition of her husband's garment-processing business. She died 16 days later.

Violent resistance has been reported in numerous other cases as ordinary people take matters into their own hands.

The incidents have spurred the government to announce it would amend laws to bar officials from forcibly removing tenants or intimidating them into leaving their homes.

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