June 20th, 2012 | Global Times Nigerian’s death sparks demo
Hundreds of foreigners rallied in front of a police station in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, Tuesday afternoon, after a Nigerian man died following a fight over fare owed to the driver of an electric bicycle.
“The dispute between the foreign man and the driver surnamed Sun over the fare happened at around 1 pm Monday on Guangyuan Road West in the city’s Yuexiu district,” Guangzhou police said on its official Weibo Tuesday.
“They were taken to the police station for investigation, but the foreigner suddenly fell into a coma at around 5 pm and died after receiving medical treatment at the station,” said the police, adding that an initial medical report shows no obvious bodily injuries.
At 3 pm Tuesday, the foreigners gathered at the Kuangquan police station, where the Nigerian man had died, blocking the streets to traffic.
Netizens on Sina Weibo and a local forum claimed the police equipped with batons and shields tried to disperse the crowd.
In a picture posted on Weibo Tuesday, the demonstrators carried placards reading “Give us the body.”
Chen Wanru, a verified Weibo user and reporter with the Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily, quoted a witness as saying that hundreds of foreigners threw rocks at police cars and private cars. The witness was also quoted as saying the foreigners chased riot-equipped police officers and tried to beat them.
The Weibo posting said the police “took immediate actions to deal with the incident, and the crowd was dispersed two hours later.”
It appears the fight between the driver and the passenger was over 2 yuan ($0.31).
“They first agreed on a 5-yuan fee but the driver then asked for 7 yuan,” Edu Stock, a Nigerian businessman working on Guangyuan Road West, told the Global Times.
“I don’t know what happened at the police station. The hospital and police refused to let the family see the body, so they started a demonstration of 500 people,” he said, adding that he was not a participant.
The Nigerian ambassador to China flew to Guangzhou to meet authorities Tuesday.
Guangzhou police said they would conduct further medical checks on the body to determine the cause of death.
By Yan Shuang