A CROWD of expatriates protested on a Guangzhou street for two hours yesterday, one day after a foreigner died in police custody in the provincial capital, local police said.
The unidentified foreigner had taken a ride on an electric bike and then quarreled with its driver over the fare, on Guangyuan Road West in Yuexiu District at about 1 p.m. Monday. The dispute escalated into a physical fight and the two were taken into police custody for investigation.
The expatriate fell unconscious at about 5 p.m. and was pronounced dead after emergency treatment failed, Guangzhou police said in a statement yesterday.
Yesterday’s protesters gathered near the Kuangquan Police Station on Guangyuan Road West and blocked traffic from 3 to 5 p.m. before police could persuade them to leave.
Police have called on all foreigners in the country to obey Chinese law, not to harm public interest or disturb the social order.
The cause of the death is under investigation.
According to the official Sina Weibo of the Southern Metropolis Daily, the deceased and most of the protesters were Africans.
It was not the first time for Africans in Guangzhou to stage a protest.
In July 2009, more than 100 Africans protested outside a Guangzhou police station after one of their compatriots died from jumping out of a building to escape police who were making checks of African passports, according to a Xinhua News Agency report.
The protesters took the dead body of the man, who they said was trying to evade local police because his visa was overstayed, to the door of the Kuangquan Police Station to demand justice.
The Kuangquan area, near the Guangzhou Railway Station, is one of the major communities where hundreds of thousands of African people holding permanent-stay permits are living and doing business.
By Mu Zi, Shenzhen Daily.