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Amnesty International reports rise of forced evictions in China

Forced evictions to make way for development are a major issue of discontent in China. According to Amnesty International, the rate of forced evictions has increased sharply in the past two years.

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Beijing launched a campaign in 2010 to restrict speculative sales and development. There is some evidence of those restrictions working as total land area bought by developers fell 16.2 percent in the first eight months of 2012 versus 2011, with revenues down 7.6 percent in the same period.

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China also unveiled new rules in 2011 to outlaw violent forced eviction, promising fair prices to the dispossessed.

Amnesty said it welcomed the regulations, but added they fell short of the standards it would like to see and applied only to urban residents.

Of 40 forced evictions Amnesty examined, nine culminated in the deaths of people protesting or resisting eviction.

A 70-year-old woman, Wang Cuiyan, was buried alive by an excavator in March 2010 when a crew of about 30 to 40 workers came to demolish her house in Wuhan city in central Hubei province, the report said.

Rights groups have repeatedly criticised the government for not doing enough to prevent forced evictions, especially when people are made to make way for large-scale events like the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the Shanghai World Expo in 2010.

($1 = 6.2849 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Additional reporting by Nick Edwards in Beijing and Stefanie McIntyre in Hong Kong; Editing by Jeremy Laurence

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