10 jailed in China for detaining protestors

Beijing, Feb 5 (IANS) Ten Chinese were sentenced to jail Tuesday for illegally detaining 11 people who were protesting the forced demolition of their homes and their relocation.

A court in Beijing sentenced the convicts with jail terms ranging from six months to two years, Xinhua reported.

Three were minors and received suspended jail sentences of up to 10 months.

Wang Gaowei and his nine accomplices, aged 17 to 32, are all natives of central China's Henan province.

They illegally detained 11 petitioners, also from Henan, in April 2012 in Beijing's Chaoyang district for up to six days, before they were arrested May 2.

The petitioners were in Beijing to air their grievances regarding compensation paid by the local government of Henan for forced demolitions.

The court ruled that the accused had infringed on the personal rights of the petitioners.

The convicts will also have to pay each petitioner between 1,300 yuan and 2,400 yuan in compensation, the court said.

The demolitions were reported conducted to make way for new construction projects.

"I was reluctant to get in the car, but they forcibly threw me into it," said a woman who was among the petitioners.

However, the father of one of the 10 jailed people, said his son was hired as a security guard after he responded to a "for-hire" notice.