China / Society

Toilet protester given 11 years for kidnapping

( Updated: 2012-12-12 18:15

A court on Tuesday found a man who held the deputy head of a county captive for 10 hours guilty of kidnapping and sentenced him to 11 years' imprisonment.

Zhang Xiaowei, who kidnapped Li Yibo, the deputy head of Yunhe county in Zhejiang province in an attempt to get a public toilet built in front of his house demolished, was also fined 30,000 yuan ($4,800), the Oriental Morning Post reported on Wednesday.

Zhang objected to the ruling by Jinyun County Court, and said he will appeal to a higher court in Lishui city, the report said.

On May 22, Zhang, from Hekeng village in Yunhe county, held Li captive in a room at the compound of the county's Party committee. Zhang demanded to talk to the media, and asked the government to demolish the toilet.

Police stormed the room and freed Li before subduing Zhang in the afternoon, the report said.

Zhang's lawyer said the act did not constitute kidnapping but was rather an act of illegal detention for petitioning.

The report said that 2 years ago, Zhang was sentenced to two years in prison after being found guilty of defamation for putting up posters on government buildings and elsewhere accusing local authorities of building a toilet in front of his house.

Zhang is also appealing against this sentence to the High Court in Zhejiang province.

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