Guangdong arrests 7 labor activists tied to unlicensed NGO accused of receiving overseas funds

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-12-24 0:38:01

Guangdong arrests 7 labor activists tied to unlicensed NGO

Seven people from an illegal nongovernmental organization (NGO) accused of receiving overseas funds have been arrested by police in Guangdong Province after the organization provoked a labor movement that disturbed social order, State media reported Wednesday.

The report came after a number of activists in the labor movement were allegedly arrested in Guangdong, including seven who were working for the Panyu Migrant Workers Center (PMWC) and its affiliate, the Nanfeiyan Social Work Service Center.

The Xinhua News Agency reported that the PMWC, which is actively involved in dozens of labor-related protests in Guangdong, has been receiving funds from many overseas organizations.

According to statements given to police by detainee Yang Huanxing, the NGO briefed some overseas organizations on its daily operations and involved officers from overseas organizations in the NGO's management and protest planning.

A preliminary police investigation found that two bank accounts belonging to PMWC head Zeng Feiyang received over 5 million yuan ($771,800) in overseas funds since 2008, Xinhua said, noting that Zeng appeared to have used most of the funds for personal purchases.

PMWC's license was revoked by local authorities in 2007, and a new license was never issued, Xinhua reported.

Zeng tends to encourage workers to safeguard their interests by protesting, instead of by pursuing legal action, said Xinhua. The news agency's report also noted that such protests often caused workers to lose their income when factories went bankrupt due to protests.

Zeng had been expelled from high school for involvement in prostitution and had been dismissed from a local judicial bureau. Xinhua said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a daily news briefing that the case would be handled in accordance with the law.

Increasing numbers of overseas NGOs have entered China as the country has pursued reform and opening-up policy. Many bring in capital, technology and management experience that has been conducive to China's development, but some harbor political agendas that have harmed China, Deng Guosheng, director of the NGO Research Center at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times in a previous interview.

Newspaper headline: Guangdong arrests 7 labor activists tied to unlicensed NGO

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