Germany pays for surgery on paralysed activist

16th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

16 June 2006, BEIJING - The German government on Friday gave money to pay for vital surgery on a paralysed activist who was beaten after campaigning on behalf of displaced residents from the Three Gorges Dam area, the activist said. "This afternoon the German embassy raised the money for me," Fu Xiancai told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa by telephone from his hospital bed in Yichang city, in the central province of Hubei. Officials and police prevented a German doctor, who was sent by the German government,

16 June 2006

BEIJING - The German government on Friday gave money to pay for vital surgery on a paralysed activist who was beaten after campaigning on behalf of displaced residents from the Three Gorges Dam area, the activist said.

"This afternoon the German embassy raised the money for me," Fu Xiancai told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa by telephone from his hospital bed in Yichang city, in the central province of Hubei.

Officials and police prevented a German doctor, who was sent by the German government, from examining Fu. "He came yesterday evening and this morning, [but] the local police did not allow him to examine me," Fu said.

After negotiations with Chinese foreign affairs officials, the German doctor was allowed to meet Fu briefly on Friday, but not to examine him.

On Friday evening, the German doctor handed over the 60,000 yuan (7,500 dollars) originally demanded by the hospital, which later said Fu's family could pay half that amount.

The hospital X-rayed Fu on Friday and scheduled an operation for Sunday, he said.

Fu was left paralysed from the neck down after his neck was broken in an attack from behind by unknown assailants on June 8, shortly after a discussion with local police about his interviews with foreign media.

He said the hospital doctors told him there was an 80 per cent chance that an operation would restore mobility.

"After I am cured, I will try to thank the German government and media," he said.

Local officials told Fu on Friday that they were "determined" to catch his assailants, he said. But police earlier suggested to him that the attack may have been in revenge for "offending someone."

"I told them I did not offend anyone else, only the corrupt officials from the government," he said on Thursday. "They are cheating people with their investigation."

Fu has waged a long campaign for residents who say they were cheated out of compensation and housing when they were resettled from the Three Gorges area.

He was attacked just 10 minutes after he left a local police station, where police asked him about an interview broadcast by German television station NDR.

NDR director Jobst Plog asked Chinese Ambassador Ma Canrong to "initiate anything in your power" to help Fu.

Plog said the assault appeared to be an "act of revenge" for an interview with Fu about the controversial Three-Gorges project broadcast on May 19.

The German Foreign Ministry has also raised the case with China.

DPA

Subject: German news

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