Date
24 July 2017
Villagers in Wukan hold banners urging the central government to release detained local party secretary Lin Zuluan (inset) who was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of taking bribes. Photos: Reuters
Villagers in Wukan hold banners urging the central government to release detained local party secretary Lin Zuluan (inset) who was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of taking bribes. Photos: Reuters

Wukan protesters press demand for release of local chief

Hundreds of people in a Guangdong village are on a fourth day of street protests to demand the release of a local chief who has been detained on suspicion of bribery.

The protesters say Lin Zuluan, the village party secretary in Wukan, is innocent and should be freed immediately, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Wukan has been called a “rebel village” by the official media after Lin led a 2011 protest against illegal land seizures. The protest made world headlines.  

Villagers took to the streets again on Sunday, a day after Lin’s midnight arrest by the Guangdong police.

The next day, Lin appeared on TV and admitted to taking bribes, angering his supporters who accused officials of orchestrating the confession.    

A Guangzhou lawyer hired by Lin’s family was pressured by the authorities into dropping out of the case, according to reports.

The lawyer, surnamed Ge, was quoted as saying a case like this makes it “very difficult to defend Lin”.

Lin’s three sons have been barred from the village and could not be reached, reports said.

A Lin grandson said he was held on Monday, accused of inciting the villagers and of planning a petition to Beijing. He was released 12 hours later. 

He said Lin’s public confession was forced on him by the authorities. 

Meanwhile, reports say officials in Guangdong are linking certain Hong Kong media outlets to the Wukan protests and are vowing to take action.

[Chinese version 中文版]

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