China detains 15 for lead poison protests
BEIJING - Police in central China detained 15 parents for a violent protest over factory pollution that left hundreds of local children with lead poisoning. Authorities accused them of links to the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement, villagers said yesterday.
Villagers mocked the accusation, saying authorities were using the charge to take revenge against parents involved in the Aug. 8 unrest in Hunan Province’s Wenping township that broke out after more than 1,300 children were poisoned by emissions from a manganese-processing plant.
Falun Gong practitioners are relentlessly persecuted by Chinese authorities.
Anger is growing in China over public safety scandals in which children have been the main victims.
The ruling Communist Party is worried mass protests will threaten the country’s social stability and challenge its grip on power.