by Steven Ertelt
July 26, 2007
Beijing, China (LifeNews.com) — Chinese courts in Bobai county in the southwestern portion of the Asian nation sentenced two men to prison who were involved in a protest against forced abortions that involved thousands of people. The local population engaged in riots after a campaign by local officials that resulted in dozens of forced abortions.
The protests began after family planning authorities began forcibly aborting women for violations of the nation’s one-child population policy in April. At least 61 women were made to have abortions as late as seven and nine months into pregnancy.
Women said were forced to have abortions because they were unmarried, while other women were married and pregnant with their second child.
Because of the alleged violations of the family planning policy, officials increased fines for offenders and began seizing or destroying the property of people who couldn’t pay the fines.
Some of the citizens of the area say the fines were instituted even on people who had already paid them and that and the forced abortions cause thousands of citizens to riot and destroy government buildings and property.
Police eventually arrested 28 people in association with the riots, according to official Chinese media sources.
While the government media did not say whether anyone had died, the New York Times reported that eyewitnesses said at least five people had been killed in the protests, including local family planning officials who had forcibly aborted the babies and destroyed homes.
Now, according to the official Xinhua News Agency, two men, whose names were given as Peng and Li, have been arrested in connection with the protests.
The government’s news service said they photocopied the letterhead and seals from county authority documents onto forged documents. The letters then claimed government would refund the "social support fee" and give subsidies to the residents.
The two men made 400 copies of the forged document and distributed them to "instigate" the residents to demand the money, the government’s news service claimed.
According to Reuters, Peng was among the people forced to pay up to tens of thousands of yuan for unapproved births. Li and Peng were sentenced to one and two years in prison, respectively, for instigating the riots.
The abortions have all occurred at the Youjiang District People’s Hospital of Baise City, where local officials denied the forced abortions were occurring.