China Aid Association
(Wenzhou—Feb. 7, 2013) Another disturbing incident stemming from China’s one-child family planning policy has led to protests and rioting over the death of a 13-month-old baby run over by a vehicle belonging to government officials who were trying to fine the child’s parents for his unauthorized birth.
According to the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy, the incident occurred at noon on Feb. 3 in the township of Mayu, in the city of Rui’an, which is administered by Wenzhou, Zhejiang province.
Eleven cadres from Mayu’s Qingyang Community were in the township’s Dongshantou Village to collect the “social child support fee,” that is, the fine for having an unauthorized second child from a man surnamed Chen and his wife, surnamed Li. Chen became agitated and refused to cooperate. The officials then asked Li to go with them to the township office to talk. She agreed and got into the cadres’ vehicle, the center’s report said.
But when the vehicle started to move, one wheel ran over the couple’s 13-month-old son. He was taken to Rui’an’s No. 3 People’s Hospital for emergency care, but his injuries were too serious and he died at the hospital.
More than 1,000 villagers surrounded the government offices after the accident, and conflicts ensued with riot police. According to witnesses cited by the Center for Human Rights & Democracy, 10 people were injured.
The U.S.-government-funded Radio Free Asia contacted local government and police officials, who confirmed the report of protests and police clashes. A government official told Radio Free Asia that two days after the accident, some protestors were still outside the government offices.
ChinaAid founder and president Bob Fu questioned the government’s account that the baby’s death was accidental, and said “We are deeply disturbed by the fact that another young life was possibly snuffed out by family planning officials in the name of the one-child policy.”
“For the sake of truth and for the sake of the young parents, we demand the Chinese authorities to thoroughly investigate this case, reveal the truth and hold those possible murderers accountable,” Fu said.
Chinese citizens have become increasingly vocal about their opposition to China’s compulsory one-child family planning policy, which has been in place since 1979. Last summer, a series of well-publicized cases of pregnant women kidnapped by government officials and forced to have late-term abortions or threatened with such abortions propelled the issue into domestic and international headlines, and the Chinese government has come under increasing pressure both at home and abroad to end the practice, which already has had serious social consequences, not least an alarming sex ratio imbalance.
Bob Fu, President | Mark Shan, News Analyst
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