Tuesday, 16. September 2014
08. 08. 14. - 15:00
Chinese communist officials are cracking down on mass public suicides carried out to gain attention over controversial issues by banning newspapers from publishing the reasons.
The trend started last month when a Chinese family allegedly forced off their land by developers and never paid any compensation staged a mass suicide by drinking pesticide outside newspaper offices in the Chinese capital Beijing.
The seven people, five women and two men, from the eastern province of Jiangsu, had unveiled posters and handed out fliers saying that five years ago they were ordered to get off their land. When they refused, the land had been bulldozed and they were left with nothing.
After getting frustrated with local officials for not looking into the case, all seven had agreed that they would head to the capital where they staged a protest outside the offices of the China Youth Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Youth League of China. According to police, the seven had said that they were not prepared to carry on living without recognition for the wrong done to them, and that without death there was only dishonour.
They then drank the pesticide and collapsed.
But since then several other mass suicides of people protesting about injustice have taken place, with the latest happening at exactly the same spot as the family of seven.
But in the latest incident, although the suicides were reported, none of the Chinese media said why the protest had been staged. This time there was again seven people involved, with three of them drinking pesticide.
In both cases the lives of those that took pesticide was saved but only thanks to speedy action by local hospital officials. However, when they leave hospital they face charges of causing a public disturbance that could see some of them jailed.
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