The Cover-Up Of The Weixian Mining Disaster

ESWN translates a China Youth Daily article about the mining bos paid out 26. million yuan in hush money to reporters covering the deadly accident at his mine in Weixian, Hebei Province:

On January 20, 2010, when the China Youth Daily reporter arrived at this coal mine almost 30 kilometers away from the Weixian county city, it was snowing hard. The white snow was slowly covering up this blackish abandoned coal mine.

For the families of the 35 coal mine workers who lost their lives during this mining disaster, their sorrows could not be covered up as quickly. The responsibility of the relevant local leaders who covered up the incident could not be covered up either. And most of all, the scandal of the waves of reporters who showed up after the incident to demand “shut-up” fees must not be covered up.

On January 9, 2010, the Hebei provincial government reported on the progress of the investigation of the 7.14 mining disaster at the Liajiawa coal mine in Weixian county. At the moment, 48 persons were held responsibility and referred to the judiciary for criminal prosecution. The former Weixian county party secretary Li Hongxing was sentenced to 13 years in jail. The former Weixian county mayor Qi Jianhua was sentenced to 14 years in jail. 18 other persons in Zhangjiakou city and Weixian county were punished according to party and political discipline. Of these, the former Weixian county party publicity department director, its former deputy-director and its former information officer deputy director were expelled from the Party and fired from their jobs.

On January 20, an old cadre who has been paying attention to this case for a long time told the China Youth Daily reporter: “The relevant officials are being held accountable. Most of the cases have been tried. But why aren’t they going after the reporters who asked for ‘shut-up’ fees? Why won’t they even publish the list of those who received ‘shut-up’ fees?”

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