3 land protesters released on bail

Updated: 2011-12-23 17:49


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GUANGZHOU - Three people from the southern village of Wukan in Guangdong province, who had been detained for alleged vandalism in recent protests against land use and other issues, have been released on bail pending trial, local police said Friday.

On September 21 and 22, villagers in Wukan, which is administered by the city of Lufeng, protested against village authorities over issues related to land use, financing and the election of local officials, and large-scale protests occurred in the village on November 21 and 22.

The village residents gathered again on December 11 after Xue Jinbo, who was suspected of organizing the demonstration in November, died in police custody.

Officials of the provincial work team in charge of the Wukan issues have conceded that the major demands of the residents were reasonable and some mistakes were made by local officials.

"During the period of detention, Zhuang Liehong, Hong Ruichao and Zhang Jiancheng had on their own initiative confessed, shown remorse for their actions, and actively cooperated with public security authorities in investigating the case," the Lufeng Municipal Public Security Bureau announced in a statement Friday.

"While taking into consideration that the radical actions of the three suspects had taken place during their participation in the villagers' petition for reasonable demands, and to fully implement the criminal policy of tempering justice with mercy...the three suspects were released on bail pending trial," the statement said.