Chinese Birth-Control Foes Arrested

BEIJING, MAY 24, 2007 ( Dozens of people in China have been arrested on charges of instigating protests against birth-control measures, a news agency said.

In seven towns in Bobai County, in the Guangxi region, angry protests broke out because of excessive fines and alleged violence against those not in conformity with China’s one-child policy, reported Twenty-eight people have been arrested, it said.

The Xinhua news agency reported those arrested are charged with “networking, persuading and being involved in damaging properties,” saying that they would be punished for the “obvious violation of the law.”

In March, local government leaders in Bobai demanded family-planning officials enforce the one-child policy on penalty of jeopardizing their careers.

Officials agree that part of their enforcement included excessive fines that may have triggered the protests, but denied allegations of any forced abortions and violence.

Eyewitnesses maintain that police ransacked homes in order to force people to pay the fines and that forced abortions took place.