Fifty Shanghai residents whose homes were demolished to make way for next year's World Expo say they will file a lawsuit against the event organiser, the International Exhibitions Bureau, in Paris next month. They said the IEB was allowing the Shanghai government to stage the event despite its failure to live up to the official slogan of the expo: 'Better City, Better Life'. Five of the displaced residents held a press conference in Hong Kong yesterday to share their stories, along with Sandy Shen Ting, director of the League of Chinese Victims. Ms Shen said 18,000 Shanghai households had been affected by the expo since 2002, when the city won the right to host the event. 'The government removed their houses in the name of the World Expo, but only about 360 households lived inside the designated expo site area,' she said. Many houses were destroyed without compensation, and people who were compensated did not receive enough to buy a new apartment in the same district. Residents who refused to leave were beaten or detained by police. 'The Shanghai government has violated the promise they made to win the bid,' Ms Shen said. 'It infringes on human rights ... if the IEB and the government refuse to settle the problem, every single contract delegations sign during the expo will be a debt of blood they owe residents.' Last month, the group wrote a letter to the Paris-based IEB informing them of the problem, as well as urging it to put pressure on the Shanghai government over the issue. But their request was rejected. In a written response sent by the bureau general secretary last week, the IEB said the housing dispute was an internal affair, and it was not obligated to solve such problems because it was an independent public organisation and had not signed any agreement with any government. It said China had been chosen to host next year's event in a vote by the bureau's 155 member countries. Ms Shen said she would drop the case only if the Shanghai government held an open and fair meeting with residents and compensated them equitably. Ms Shen became a Hong Kong resident in 1995, and her mother's home in Shanghai was demolished in 2003 in a dispute not related to the expo. Her mother was given a new home in 2006 after a high-profile meeting with German President Horst Koehler, but was later evicted. A person claiming to represent Premier Wen Jiabao met Ms Shen last week in private to promise to settle her and another woman's cases in return for them abandoning the lawsuit and campaign, but she refused and said she wanted the issue addressed through open and fair meetings involving all residents. One resident, Xu Yikuan, who is disabled, said he was beaten in 2002 while trying to defend his home. Later, he lived in a 'nail house' until 2006, when his home was forcibly demolished. A dozen men attacked him on a street again soon after that. 'I was not given a single dollar in compensation, nor a new home, so now I can only live in my friends' homes,' he said.