Thousands of Protesters Clash With Police in China

Thousands of Chinese protesters clashed with police in Youyang, an ethnic county in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality, after the murder of a student by other youths at a local school.
AFP reported:

Thousands of villagers in southwest China smashed cars and fought with police in a protest over a murdered student, an official and a rights group said Monday.

The clashes occurred on Thursday last week in the sprawling Chongqing municipality, they said, adding to the seemingly fast-growing number of riots and protests from marginalised members of society throughout China.

The latest riot flared after the parents of the murdered boy were taken into custody for protesting his killing the previous day at the middle school he attended, the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said.

After the parents were brought in by local police, relatives and other parents marched on the Youyang county government offices, where the crowds grew to as large as 10,000 people, the group said in a statement.

Authorities called in up to 200 riot police to disperse the crowd, and the protests ended on Thursday night, it said.

A Yougang county government spokesman confirmed there were violent protests and that some rioters had been arrested, but gave a more toned-down version of events.

“There were only several thousand people at the gates of the county government, after a while a small group of bad people started to destroy things, destroyed police cars,” a Youyang county spokesman told AFP by phone.

“Some people have been arrested, but I don’t know how many.”

Tempers had flared after the parents of the boy, who was stabbed in a dispute with other students, accused the school of not sending their son to the hospital fast enough, leading to his death.

A report in the government-run Youyang Daily newspaper, said the parents had been arrested but only taken into government offices to discuss how the case should be handled.

According to the latest figures from the ministry of public security, 87,000 protests, officially termed “mass incidents,” were reported across China in 2005, up 6.6 percent on 2004 and 50 percent on 2003.

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