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Police say petitioner forced to toil

[ 2011-10-21 10:57]     字号 [] [] []  
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Police officials said on Thursday that a rural resident who traveled to Beijing to petition authorities about his grievances was kidnapped by human traffickers and forced to toil in a small brick kiln, confirming a recent report that petitioners are being preyed upon in the capital.

Wuqiao county police, in North China's Hebei province, said human traffickers tricked Yang Xiangzheng, 57, and six other men in June into working in one of Wuqiao's small brick kilns. The police said the kiln paid the traffickers 1,600 yuan ($252) for each laborer.

After seven days of toil, Yang fled the brick kiln. The police are still probing Yang's assertion that he and his fellow workers there were treated like slaves and frequently beaten, a charge the brick kiln owner and other employees have denied.

Yang's case was first reported by the Southern Metropolis Daily on Wednesday.

The report said Yang traveled to Beijing in June from his home village in Central China's Hunan province to air his grievances about a suspected land grab by local officials.

Rather than seeing his complaints redressed, he was met with neglect, he said. While sleeping on a roadside, he was kidnapped by a group of men and taken to the brick kiln in Wuqiao.

Yang described humiliating working and living conditions - laborers were forced to have their heads shaved, to put on uniforms like those worn by prisoners and to sleep with dogs, according to the report.

In keeping with a centuries-old tradition, rural residents who find that local officials are ignoring their complaints sometimes travel to Beijing to petition higher authorities.


1. In what province is Wuqiao county?

2. How much did the kiln pay traffickers for each laborer?

3. Where was the story first reported?


1. Hebei.

2. 1,600 yuan.

3. Southern Metropolis Daily.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Police say petitioner forced to toil

About the broadcaster:

Police say petitioner forced to toil

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.