Three months ago, riot police entered the rebel village of Wukan, in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, amid clashes with brick-throwing protesters. The operation put an end to months of daily demonstrations in the fishing village over the loss of farmland to corrupt business dealings and the detention of their leader, Lin Zuluan. Police raided households, set up roadblocks, and detained dozens of people, leaving local residents afraid to speak to the media. Former Wukan resident Zhuang Liehong, who fled to the United States following similar clashes in 2011, spoke to RFA's Mandarin Service:
RFA: What activities have you carried out here in the United States?
Zhuang: I, Zhuang Liehong, and Yao Cheng from the Chinese Women's Rights group along with Sun Zhigang went to Trump Towers in New York with a dozen or so other activists.
We raised our placards at the foot of Trump Towers, calling for a free Wukan, calling on [U.S. president-elect Donald] Trump to pay attention to the human rights situation in Wukan, and to human rights in China.
RFA: What are the most recent developments in Wukan?
Zhuang: The latest news is that the authorities are holding trials of the people they detained, including my father. They have been sentencing them to prison in the past few days.
[Wukan village committee member] Zhang Jiancheng came to my parents' house with a bunch of officials [earlier this week] and informed my mother that only two people would be allowed to attend the sentencing hearing.
Also, Chen Suzhuan, Yang Jinzhen, Wei Yonghan and Zhang Xiangkeng will all be sentenced between Dec. 16 and Dec. 18.
RFA: So what action can you take regarding the situation in Wukan now?
Zhuang: I will continue to take part in any action that expresses our demands through any possible channel, for every day that the situation in Wukan remains unresolved.
This time, we went to visit Trump, to express our desire for human rights and unequal treatment by vested interests.
The demands of Wukan villagers for their land only came about because their human rights were trampled underfoot [by the government].
If it wasn't for human rights violations, we wouldn't be seeing forced demolitions and evictions, and land grabs rights across China.
Reported by Qiao Long for RFA's Mandarin Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.