A group of villagers from Dongzhou, in Guangdong province, received jail terms of up to seven years after violent clashes with police in a demonstration last December that cost at least three lives. The South China Morning Post reported that seven of the 19 villagers on trial Monday were acquitted while the rest were convicted of a number of offences including manufacturing explosives, illegal assembly and disturbing public order. The police officers who fired on the protesters, killing three, received lower punishments. The chief who ordered officers to open fire was sacked while three senior officials were reprimanded. The riots started when villagers gathered to protest the seizures of their land and a lake for a coal-fired power plant.
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