CLB condemns attacks on Shenzhen workers' rights group

China Labour Bulletin wholeheartedly adds its voice to the local and international condemnation of the recent attacks on a migrant workers' centre in Shenzhen, and calls for the local police to thoroughly investigate the case and bring the perpetrators to justice.

The Dagongzhe Centre in the Longgang district of Shenzhen has been vandalized and staff intimidated by groups of thugs in three separate incidents over the last two months, the most serious of which occurred on 20 November, when a Dagongzhe staff member, Huang Qingnan, was attacked and grievously injured by two men with knives. The attackers escaped and a week later Huang was still in a serious condition in hospital.

Dagongzhe had been actively involved in promoting the new Labour Contract Law, as well as representing workers demanding wages in arrears from negligent employers. The attacks on Dagongzhe were almost certainly been orchestrated by persons or groups who felt threatened by the centre's activities, and had no qualms whatsoever in the use of violence to further their cause.

CLB believes this tragic case is an opportunity for the Shenzhen authorities to demonstrate both their commitment to the protection labour rights, and their complete independence from brutal and criminal elements within the business community.

The attacks should be thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice. The government should make efforts to adequately protect and assist the Dagongzhe Centre, and provide financial assistance and medical help for Huang Qingnan. Moreover, all organizations fighting to protect the legitimate rights of workers in Shenzhen should be able to carry out their work without the fear of intimidation or physical attack.

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