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Africans protest in Guangzhou after passport checks

[ 2009-07-16 11:41]     字号 [] [] []  
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GUANGZHOU: More than 100 Africans protested outside a local police station yesterday after one of their compatriots died from jumping out of a building to escape police who were making checks of African passports.

The protesters took the dead body of a man, who they said was trying to evade local police because his visa was overstayed, to the door of the Kuangquan street police station to demand justice, the Xinhua News Agency said.

Police in Guangzhou, the provincial capital, conducted surprise passport checks at shops owned by African business people in Guangyuanxi Lu yesterday afternoon, leading to a brawl with people who failed to show their passports, protesters said.

Representatives of the African community said they feel harassed by the police's frequent passport checks in their neighborhoods.

The Kuangquan area, near the Guangzhou railway station, is one of the major communities where hundreds of thousands of African people holding permanent-stay permits are living and doing business.

The victim was a Nigerian businessman, said a protester who asked not to be named, to Xinhua yesterday.

But a police officer at the protest site denied anyone had died. A press release issued by the police authority late last night said only two Africans were injured during the passport checks.

One of the Africans was seriously injured after breaking through window glass, trying to evade the police, it said.

Both injured men were immediately sent to hospitals, and the police are investigating the incident, the release said.

The unnamed protester said neither violence nor attacks took place - only shouting and occasional scuffles between the Africans and police.

"There are about 200 African protesters, most of whom are from Nigeria," he said.

The protest resulted in hours of traffic jams on Guangzhou's major roads, such as Guangyuanxi Lu, Huangshidong Lu and Dongfeng Lu.

As of 8 pm, traffic around the police station resumed after representatives from both police and the protesters met to discuss the matter for several hours.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Africans protest in Guangzhou after passport checks

Africans protest in Guangzhou after passport checksBrendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op’Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily’s Website opinion section.

He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.