Tenuous Calm After Pollution Protests (Updated)

AFP reports quiet in Qidong amid a heavy police presence following Saturday’s violent protests against a planned pipeline. “People don’t dare to go out in the streets today,” said a local resident, who for safety reasons only gave her name as Qin. “Thousands of security forces have been deployed to Qidong to prevent further gatherings against the police,” she told AFP, adding that residents were wary of police retaliation after some were beaten in Saturday’s protests. Up to three people were killed in the violence and scores were injured, while up to 100 were detained by police, according to rights watchdog Chinese Human Rights Defenders. The violence began after police began violently beating a young female protester, it said, citing witnesses. A reporter for The Asahi Shimbun, Atsushi Okudera, was reportedly beaten by police while covering the protests. The newspaper has complained to the Chinese government, and Japan’s Consulate General in nearby Shanghai is investigating the incident. From The Asahi Shimbun: Okudera, 41, was attacked when he was shooting pictures of demonstrators under attack by police. He was on the street in front of the municipal police building in Qidong. All of a sudden, his camera was seized by police and 15 to 20 officers surrounded him and shoved him to the ground. Although Okudera identified himself as a reporter, police kicked him for about 20 seconds. One of the officers jumped on him. Police seized his press ID when he showed it to them after they stopped beating him and didn’t return his camera, which contained images he shot of the protest. CHRD’s account of how the violence started, if true, may blunt some criticism of the protesters’ conduct. Shanghai-based blogger Jian Shuo Wang wrote on Saturday that “we crossed the line, seriously crossed the line […]. Right goal ...
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