This story is about a bid by residents of a village in Guangzhou province to recall their elected head for suspected corruption in mid-2005. Local authorities used a huge police force to suppress them. They hired thugs to beat villagers and jailed them. Activists, lawyers and reporters were also beaten. One activist is still under detention and one protest leader continues to get visits from Party executives who harass him. Villagers’ phones are tapped and surveillance cameras and thugs watch them to prevent them from doing anything against the government.
Siew Ying has been the Guangzhou correspondent for South China Morning Post since December 2002 after she spent a year in Beijing helping to start up Xinhua Financial network. Prior to that, she was city editor at Taiwan News in Taipei. She worked for 12 years at France-Presse Agency in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Shanghai and Beijing after starting her career at Bernama news agency in Kuala Lumpur. She was also an Alfred Friendly Fellow at the Chicago Tribune.