LIFE ISSUES: by Reggie LittlejohnNews Weekly
China: Baby crushed to death during one-child policy enforcement
, March 16, 2013
A 13-month-old baby was crushed to death under a vehicle containing Chinese government family-planning officials in Dongshantou Village near Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province, in early February.
Eleven officials were attempting to collect a fine from a couple who had allegedly violated China’s one-child policy.
According to a China Daily report, the discussion became heated between the officials and the boy’s parents. The officials persuaded the child’s mother to accompany them back to nearby Ruian to discuss options, and the boy was placed in the care of his father. The family-planning officials got into their cars to return to Ruian. The baby was found crushed beneath one of the cars containing the officials.
How the baby ended up under the wheel of the vehicle has been unclear; but in this interview, the baby’s father, Chen Li, has stepped forward to tell what happened in an interview published by the local Xian Dai Jin Bao news agency:
“At noon on February 4, as we were having lunch upstairs, we heard people talking downstairs. When we got downstairs, we saw several people rushing into our room, saying that they are leaders of Qing Xiang Community, who are coming to collect the ‘social compensation fee’. I brought chairs for them, but they refused to sit down and talk. They also threatened me, saying ‘Don’t you flee today. Today we are definitely bringing you back.’
“When we left the house, my wife was already on the vehicle. There were many neighbours around the vehicle. My two daughters were standing by the car door. My elder daughter was holding her baby brother, and the baby was crying for his mother.
“Then I went over to the vehicle, carrying the baby, preparing to go into the vehicle. At that moment there were seven or eight government officials inside the vehicle, and my wife was also inside. I wanted to get into the car and handed my son to my wife. The baby was crying a lot, and it was very chaotic.
“I don’t know who pushed me, causing my baby to drop to the ground. At that time, the car started moving, and I wasn’t able to get my baby before the tire crushed him. The baby was killed.”
According to a BBC news report, thousands of furious villagers protested the death of this baby outside the local government offices; and Xinhua has reported that the van driver and the Communist Party Secretary have been arrested, though it is unclear whether they have been charged.
Other episodes of violent death at the hands of family-planning officials are discussed in a report Women’s Rights Without Frontiers submitted into the US Congressional Record at a hearing on September 22, 2011.
In April of 2011, in Linyi County, Shandong Province, a family-planning official murdered a man. They had come to seize his sister for a forced sterilisation. Failing to find her, they started to beat their father. When the man defended his father, one of the family-planning officials plunged a knife in his heart, and he died.
Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, will be the main presenter at the Endeavour Forum’s NGO Parallel Event, entitled “Gendercide”, to be held on March 9, during the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women session in New York this month.