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A protest erupted in Hubei province last week, after a local legislator died while under police custody. Over one thousand protestors surrounded the offices of local authorities. Armed police were brought in to intervene.
Thousands of angry citizens surrounded the offices of local authorities in Lichuan city in Hubei province on Thursday (June 9th). They are protesting the suspicious death of a local legislator. Ran Jianxin died in police custody. He had opposed a land grab by local officials. The protesters showed a banner reading "Offend the leaders and meet with secret assassination."
Local resident Mr. Xie told NTD by phone that between one and two thousand people joined the protest. They threw eggs at the building and then forced their way inside. Up to 10-thousand people were at the scene. Armed police arrived later and surrounded the building. They continued patrolling outside over the weekend.
[Mr. Xie, Local Resident]:
"Now the government building is under control. I think the armed police will not be able to withdraw for some time."
Police took Ran Jianxin, the man at the center of the controversy, into custody on May 26th. Chinese state media report that he died while under interrogation on June 4th. Ran's family have circulated photos of Ran's body dated June 5th, which appear to show evidence of beating.
Ran was under investigation for allegedly taking bribes from construction contractors. Yet Ran's family claims Ran's arrest and subsequent death was revenge by top city officials whom Ran had accused of corruption.
Hubei Democracy Advocate, Song Xiangfeng says that this kind of corruption happens frequently in China.