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Defamation detention youth wins compensation

A YOUNG man in Henan Province has been compensated after being detained for eight days and wrongly accused of defaming the local government. A defamation suit has also been withdrawn.

Qin Yuhai, Henan's vice governor and the province's police director, confirmed this yesterday during an online interview with

He did not reveal the amount of the compensation.

Qin apologized to the man, Wang Shuai, for the behavior of the police and said it revealed that local police were not enforcing law correctly, but this was not rare with local police.

The provincial police have sent a team to investigate the case, he said. They will learn from this case and prevent other such cases from happening.

Wang, 24, a native of Henan's Lingbao City, was detained by police on March 6 while working at his office in Shanghai.

He was accused of defaming the Lingbao government by publishing an online post saying that the government had misused 28 square kilometers of farm land in his hometown of Dawang Town to develop an industrial zone. This resulted in a loss of income for more than 30,000 local farmers.

The government agreed to pay the farmers an annual rent of 1,200 yuan (US$175.62) per mu (666 square meters) for the land, which was much lower than their actual incomes, however.

Wang's family, for example, harvested about 8,000 yuan each year from fruits grown in each mu of the land.

During his detention, the local police asked Wang to write an apology for the post and admit it was just defamation because he was not satisfied with the rent, he said.

He was released eight days later when police said they lacked sufficient proof to bring a charge of defamation.

But it was not until he had been released that he learned he had been set free because his family had agreed to uproot their fruit trees to make way for the industrial zone.

Fruit growing was the major source of income for his family. Most of the trees chopped down were 20 years old, he said.


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