Africans protest in China

July 16, 2009 12:00 am

, BEIJING, July 16 – More than 100 Africans protested for hours outside a police station in southern China after a Nigerian man fell to his death trying to escape from a visa check, reports and police said Thursday.

The protestors took the dead body of a man to the police station in Guangzhou, near Hong Kong, demanding justice for the victim, the China Daily said.

The group blocked the entrance to the police station and stopped traffic for several hours as about 100 security officers — some in riot gear — guarded the station, according to reports in Chinese and Hong Kong media.

The South China Morning Post named the dead man as clothing trader Emmanul Egisimba from Nigeria.

At least six witnesses confirmed to the Post that the man had died, adding it had seen video footage of the man lying motionless on the ground with blood pouring from his head.

The Guangzhou Public Security Bureau said in a statement that police found the man severely injured after the fall during their visa check on the second floor of a shopping mall on Wednesday.

But the statement, issued late Wednesday, did not say whether the man had died. The statement confirmed a protest did take place and that it had lasted for four hours.

No one was immediately available for comment at the bureau when contacted by AFP.

Guangzhou has a thriving African population, many of them traders looking to buy cheap goods from China’s factories.

There are currently about 20,000 Africans registered as residing in the city, according to a report by Guangzhou’s Academy of Social Sciences, but it is estimated that illegal immigrants could swell that number far higher.


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