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Farmers sue county for illegal land use
By Wang Zhenghua (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-08-30 06:12

But Wang, who took the case along with another lawyer, said the county government demolished the farmers' houses through coercive measures without compensation.

"Each farmer has a certificate to prove the land is owned collectively," Wang said yesterday in a telephone interview.

Worse, the government did not even keep its promise that it would compensate the farmers .

"As a result, these homeless rural workers have to seek shelter in their relatives' houses or elsewhere," Wang said.

"Only a few resettled families, who have special relations with the government, have moved into new houses."

He also said some victims had been afraid of accusing the government, especially those who have family members working as county civil servants.

In recent years, nevertheless, some wrote petition letters to relevant departments, and others visited the General Office of the State Council in Beijing.

"These peaceful farmers are now outraged," Wang said.

He said that to obtain the evidence, he pretended to purchase a house from the developer of the residential buildings.

But Wang said the developer has yet to obtain the proper certificate to use the land, and there are other loopholes in its use.

The lawyer for the local government could not be reached for comment.

According to local media reports, the local land procurement and relocation office said it had reached agreements with each family and, in addition, the suit has exceeded its statutes.

However Wang said the government has persisted in violating farmers' legal rights.

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