Yunnan farmer arrested after kneeling in front of Premier Wen Jiabao's car

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 November, 2012, 11:29am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 November, 2012, 12:21pm

A farmer in China’s southwestern Yunnan province was arrested on Monday after she knelt in front of Premier Wen Jiabao’s motorcade when it visited the area in September.

Liang Yonglan, 29, was released on Tuesday after her husband paid 1,000 yuan in bail, China’s Caixin magazine reported on its Web site Wednesday.

Liang and a dozen local farmers gathered at an intersection at Fajie village in Yiliang county early on September 8. Some of them knelt when Wen’s car approached.

The premier got out of his vehicle and met Liang and three other farmers. During a conversation lasting about three minutes, the farmers discussed local land seizures with Wen. They asked for more government compensation for their land, said Liang.

Wen had said he would ask officials to look into the matter, recalled Liang’s husband, Hu Jifei, who was among the four farmers who spoke to Wen.

The premier also told officials that farmers should not be stopped from expressing their opinions, Hu said.

Liang was taken away on Monday by police, who said she would be detained for seven days for “disrupting public order”.

Hu said he had no idea why police waited so long to arrest her.

But when Hu visited his wife on Tuesday at the detention centre, police told him they would release Hu if he could pay 1,000 yuan, according to Caixin news.

Reports of the incident have been censored on China’s twitter-like service Sina Weibo. But Caixin’s report drew angry comments from readers on its website.

“She must have been so desperate to kneel down,” one reader said. “What crime did she commit?”

“What would grandfather Wen say to this?” asked another reader.





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