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Demonstrators protest at university

MORE than 200 protestors have held an angry vigil at Peking University since Wednesday in response to a professor's controversial remarks about people who petition the government, and more than 50 have been removed by police, a university official said yesterday.

Sun Dongdong, head of the university's judicial expertise center, set off a firestorm by suggesting in the March 23 issue of China Newsweek that 99 percent of people who repeatedly petition the government were mentally ill.

He has since apologized.

Protestors have rallied in front of the university with banners saying: "We demand an explanation from Sun Dongdong." Some demanded to see Sun and the university's president, said Miao Jinxiang, a senior official with the university, adding that some protestors had called for Sun to be fired.

Miao said although Sun's letter of apology had been distributed to the protestors, they refused to leave.

"More than 50 protestors who refused to leave were taken away by police as of midday yesterday," he said.


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