SHOCKING footage of a government-led demolition crew beating villagers in China went viral this past weekend, triggering an outcry from Chinese netizens.
The Shanghaiist reported that the incident took place in a village outside of Haikou city, Hainan – the southernmost province of China. The video showed men in black attire hitting cowering villagers with batons and clubs. The latter howled at every attack, and crying was heard through most of the nearly 2-minute clip.
Citing media reports, the Shanghaiist said that the village had previously sold their farmland for development, leading to the construction of buildings deemed illegal by the government. A government-sanctioned crew, which included police and chengguan, was dispatched to demolish them.
But villagers resisted the effort, lobbing rocks and bricks at the team, leading to the extremely disturbing incident depicted in the video.
The local government reportedly apologized in press conference on Saturday after the video became public. It announced the arrest of seven crew members and the dismissal of the team leader. However, outraged Chinese netizens deemed the measures woefully insufficient in proportion to what they perceived as a brutal crime.
“Dismissed? Detained? These men should be executed,” the Shanghaiist quoted one netizen as saying.
“The villagers should be allowed to beat them bloody as punishment,” said another individual quoted by the online website.