Chinese family dragged out of home and tied up while house is demolished

Family forced out of home in Shaanxi province after long-running dispute over compensation terms to leave

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 July, 2017, 12:44pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 July, 2017, 12:58pm

A family of seven in northwest China were dragged out of their village home and bound with zip ties and duct tape by a demolition team while they knocked down their house on Saturday, according to a Chinese newspaper report.

The forced demolition took place in Hanzhong in Shaanxi province after the family refused to agree on compensation proposed by the local government, The Beijing News reported.

A relative of the family rushed to the scene after receiving a phone call at about 6 am on Saturday and found a mechanical digger knocking down the house, which was surrounded by several people holding clubs, according to the article.

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About 20 metres away, the seven family members were sitting or lying on the ground, crying and calling for help, with their hands and feet bound by zip ties. One of them had his mouth duct taped.

Police were call to the scene an hour later.

They freed the family and sent them to hospital. One had a broken rib, while others suffered “soft tissue” injuries, the report said.

The relative was quoted as saying the house was placed under a demolition plan for the area as early as 2014, but the family had refused to move out because they were not happy with the government’s compensation proposal.

An official with the local government’s publicity department told the newspaper the residents of the house, with a floor area of 301-square metres, would be compensated with four flats and 96,000 yuan (US$14,100) in cash. But the family demanded five street-level shops, four parking spaces and 1.2 million yuan in renovation and furnishing fees on top of that.

Four members of the demolition team were detained and police were still looking into the case, the report said.

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Forced evictions and demolitions have been a persistent problem in China, especially in its vast rural areas, after decades of rapid development and urbanisation.

Home owners who refuse to move out have been beaten and even killed, making it one of the country’s most common causes of social tensions and unrest.