11 detained after woman, 60, died in forced demolition of her home

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 July, 2016, 2:10pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 July, 2016, 2:10pm

Eleven people have been detained after a 60-year-old woman died during a forced demolition of her home in central China last month, mainland media reports.

Four people who directly took part in the demolition were detained for suspected negligent homicide, the Legal Evening News reported. Seven sub-district and village-level cadres and civil servants were detained for suspected abuse of power and dereliction of duty.

Body found in wreckage of home forcibly demolished in central China

The South China Morning Post reported last week that a body of a 60-year-old woman had been found in the wreckage of her home after it was knocked down by a demolition crew in Changsha, Hunan province.

The family of the woman, Gong Xuehui, was told she had been taken away on a bus before the demolition of her home in a shanty town took place three weeks ago, the Beijing News reported.

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After the family members could not contact her, they alleged the demolition company prevented them from searching the site, according to the article.

They finally got the help of a bulldozer driver who searched the site and found the woman’s body in the wreckage on July 7, 21 days after Gong went missing.

Gong’s body was taken away that day by a group of unidentified people “larger than the crew that demolished the house”, her family claimed. She was cremated one day later.

The results of an official investigation released by Changsha city on Wednesday did not deny the family member’s claims they were stopped from searching the site after the demolition, and said the demolition crew did not find Gong in the house due to neglect.

The report said the demolition crew had counted the objects in the house and videotaped the process, it added.

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The demolition was decided on by 63 representatives of the village of Chanzishan, the investigation found. The decision for a forced demolition was made after Gong’s family, together with 11 others who expected higher compensation for their homes, refused to sign an agreement for demolition.

The decision had no legal grounds as the law does not grant village representatives the right to forcefully demolish a house, the investigation said.

The party chief and the governor of Yuelu District, where the village is located, were found responsible for overseeing the demolition and given in-party and administrative disciplines.

Fourteen other civil servants were handed punishments but no legal action was taken against them.