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Saturday, February 21, 1998 Published at 12:00 GMT


China jails tricycle protest organiser for three years
image: [ The protestors were angry at being deprived of their livelihood ]
The protestors were angry at being deprived of their livelihood

A Chinese court is reported to have sentenced a tricycle driver to three years in prison for his role in a demonstration in the central city of Wuhan last year.

Around 1,000 disgruntled drivers blocked roads in Wuhan for several hours with their tricycles as a protest against plans by the city to ban the vehicles to ease traffic congestion last October.

The Information Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China said a court convicted Tu Guangwen on Thursday for organising the demonstration.

Tricycles ferrying passengers and goods were a new means of transportation that sprang up in the city after money-losing state owned enterprises laid off workers or suspended production.

Anger over lay-offs

The tricycle demonstration was among a spate of protests across China in recent months against grievances that include delayed salary or pension payments.

China's Communist leaders last September endorsed a bold programme to shake up the nation's lumbering state sector through bankruptcies, mergers or share issues.

The move has sparked worries of mass unemployment and social unrest.


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