采访/陈汉 编辑/周平 后制/李勇
Man Arrested for Stabbing Demolition Workers Defending Property and Family
On December 3, there was a forced eviction and
demolition incident in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province.
The incident saw blood shed on both
sides of the conflict which resulted.
The owner of the property, who was arrested recently,
reportedly stabbed two demolition workers to death.
Witness accounts reveal why the situation escalated.
The owner’s wife and son were violently assaulted by the
demolition staff, which triggered the owner to become angry.
The owner began appealing in 2004
against his property being demolished.
He had twice appealed in Beijing in 2013.
He left a testament stating that
he was forced to an agreement.
Public Security Bureau fro the Suzhou High Tech New
Development Area reported that demolition workers went
to discuss the demolition with the owner, Fan Mugen.
However, Fan Mugen’s family members began arguing.
Demolition workers were forced
to take away 64 year old Fan.
They tried to force him to sign an agreement.
Fan refused, and conflict began to break out.
A bloody conflict took place at the gates of the property.
Local media reported recollections
of Fan Mugen’s son, Fan Yonghai.
When he and several of his relatives arrived at
the property, they saw his father being dragged
down a small path by some demolition workers.
The workers had retractable steel batons in their
hands and “violently attacked us without any questions".
The corner of Fan Yonghai’s eye was injured. His fathers
head was beaten, and he was lying on the ground, injured.
In order to protect her husband, Fan Mugen’s wife
used her right hand to resist a steel stick attack.
Afterwards, the hospital diagnosed
that her right arm had been broken.
Mainland Chinese human rights lawyer
Liu Xiaoyuan spoke about the incident.
Fan Mugen said that when his head was hit by the demolition
workers, he then took out the knife and stabbed the attacker.
He also stabbed another attacker, who had hit his wife.
Eyewitnesses confirmed that the assault
on Fan’s wife and son made Fan angry.
Mainland human rights lawyer Tang Jitian:
“According to my understanding of the
case, and from a legal perspective, I prefer
to see the case as a legitimate defense.
It is an action taken when his and his family
members’ rights were seriously threatened.
Hence, from a legal angle, I don’t think
he should receive a penal punishment."
On December 16, the Procuratorate of Huqiu District,
Suzhou Cityapproved the arrest of Fan Mugen.
Fan is detained under “suspicion of intent to injure".
The six demolition workers include
a Mr Wu, Mr Qi, and Mr Sun.
They are also all under detention, on
“suspicion of provocation and disturbance".
Up until December 18, more than 1000 netizens signed
an internet petition to “acquit Fan Mugen without charge".
According to the Chinese Human Rights Defenders website,
the event has seen active response from all walks of life.
Some Suzhou residents are actively undertaking
fundraising on the streets, to support Fan’s family.
Lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan commented on his micro-blog.
Fan Mugen signed an administrative complaint
on the illegal behavior of the assistant police.
These police were dispatched by the
Public Security Bureau in Huqiu District.
Liu delivered the complaint to Huqiu District
Court on the afternoon of December 17.
It is understood that before the incident,
these assistant police, armed with white
helmets, based themselves at the site.
However, they did not stop the attack
on Fan and his family members.
Liu Yiming, Chinese writer: “At
present the facts should be very clear.
Fan was legitimately defending his family, and the
police should acquit him rather, than arrest him."
It has been reported that in October this year, local village
officials led the demolition staff to visit Fan’s home.
Negotiations failed to reach an agreement.
Following the meeting, Fan found the windows in his
property had been damaged by bricks being thrown.
Some of his belongings had been thrown into a well.
He and his wife had to stay at their relatives
house for a while to avoid further harassment.
Xiao Qingshan, Beijing activist: “I think
these two bandits should be killed.
In the US, people can protect their property like that."
On November 5, Fan Mugen left a copy of a
testament, on which he says that he was forced
to sign an agreement by the demolition company.
Lawyer Tang Jitian commented on the lack of action
from police to protect the owner during the incident, and
on taking the side of the demolition company afterwards.
The local police station seems to have
behaved illegally, and should be investigated.
Liu Yiming: “I think the Chinese justice
system cannot be independent.
Most of time, the justice department
only supports the regime.
If a civilian hurts an official, he will be punished,
even if he undertakes legitimate defense.
If an official hurts a civilian, then the result
will be that probably nothing will be done,
or only a light punishment of the official."
Liu suggests not to expect rule by law in the current China.
Under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party, it is
impossible for a judicial system to be independent.
Ordinary people are at the mercy of the regime.
Interview/ChenHan Edit/ZhouPing Post-Production/LiYong