Hundreds of Africans recently took to the street in Guangzhou's Sanyuanli District the day after the suspicious death of a fellow African while in police custody. The protesters demand the police to return the dead body to the African community for an independent autopsy.
It's estimated that there are as many as 200,000 Africans residing in Guangzhou. As a result of the ongoing nationwide campaign “to clean up foreign trash”, many Africans have been unable to renew their visas and have become illegal residents in China. The tension between Africans and police in Guangzhou has peaked in the so-called “chocolate city”, and the Nigerian community has now openly demanded that the Nigerian government set up a consulate in Guangzhou to “eliminate harassment”.
According to a Guangzhou police media briefing yesterday (June 19, 2012) [zh], a conflict between a taxi driver and an African passenger over the taxi fare took place on June 18 at around 1pm. Both persons were brought to the police station for further investigation. At around 5pm the same day, the African fell into a coma and died soon after.
An autopsy report found no signs of bodily injury, however Cam from TheNanfang.com interviewed a 26-year-old Nigerian resident of Guangzhou, Matouvu, who gives a different account of the taxi fare conflict and the Tuesday protest.
The African community has rejected the police report and demanded the dead body be returned so an independent autopsy can be arranged.
Chinese public opinion toward the protest is very diversified. Some are sympathetic to the protesters, while some are highly discriminative toward the African community. Below is a selection of some typical comments from one Weibo news thread [zh]: