Killing of Wei Wenhua and the Evils of the Urban Management System – David Bandurski

In light of the murder of citizen Wei Wenhua, who was killed by “urban management” (城管)officials in Tianmen City, Province while filming their dispute with villagers, observers are asking who exactly are the “chengguan.” On China Media Project, David Bandurski says Wei could be considered “China’s first ‘citizen reporter’ to be killed while attempting to document a breaking news event” and writes:

“Five minutes of darkness,” in the words of columnist Xiong Peiyun (熊陪云). That was all it took for the “urban management officers” (城管) of Hubei’s Tianmen City (天门市) to tragically end the life of (魏文华), the general manager of a local architectural engineering firm who dared to step out of his car and document a violent attempt to bring local villagers to heel.

…The Wei Wenhua Affair, vaguely reminiscent of the Sun Zhigang story back in 2003, could become one of the most important China stories of 2008. Some media and Web users are already calling for the disbanding of the urban management system.

“Five minutes of darkness, and who will be next?” Beijing scholar Xiong Peiyun wrote in today’s Southern Metropolis Daily and The Beijing News. “Perhaps no one wishes to face this question. Wei Wenhua’s death stands as clear proof of the violent ways of local urban management officers. It’s 2008 and another citizen goes down. When will we stand up and restrain the law enforcement violence of this urban management system?” [Full text]

Over the past thirty-five hours, there have been 154733 comments on this event on QQ. One, from a netizen from Yingtan, Jiangxi Province, says:

Zhou Zhenglong took a photo of tiger, alive!

Wen Wenhua took a photo of , dead!

Chengguan is more dangerous than tigers. 城管猛如虎。[Original Chinese text]

See also “Citizen reporter killed — by who?” from Global Voices.

January 11, 2008, 3:32 PM
Posted By:
Categories: Human Rights, Law