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Amnesty International Calls for Release of Detained Wukan Villagers

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Eva Fu  | Epoch Times

Amnesty International issued a statement on Sep. 16 condemning regime violence in what has been known as China’s “democracy village,” after police arrested scores of villagers and assaulted five Hong Kong reporters.

“Amnesty International calls on the Chinese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release those villagers of Wukan village who are detained solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly,” it said.

The coastal village, in the southern province of Guangdong, came to the world’s attention five years ago with its daring protests against corruption and illegal land seizures. It was noted for electing a leadership that answered to local interests instead of those from higher authorities.

The Wukan confrontation broke out on Sep. 13, after thousands of riot police entered the village at midnight and detained 13 local activists, charging them with gathering a crowd and disrupting public order, according to Hong Kong’s Now TV. Dozens of residents were injured as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets. Villagers have since estimated there have been a total of over 70 arrests.

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