A couple in eastern China had to watch their homes being flattened by a bulldozer after they were “tied up and thrown by the roadside” in a forced demolition, the Beijing-based Mirror Evening News reported on Tuesday.

The incident happened more than two weeks ago in a village near a tourist resort in Qingdao, Shandong last month. The newspaper cited local police as saying the case is under investigation.

A bulldozer taking down the Songs’ house in Shandong. Photo: Weibo.

Villager Song Xinpeng told reporters at Mirror Evening News that his father was attacked by several unidentified men armed with batons on November 27 on his way home. The attackers emerged from a van, tied Song’s father up with a netted bag and left him by the roadside. His mother, who arrived later, was treated the same way, Song said.

A bulldozer taking down the Songs’ house in Shandong. Photo: Weibo.

The attackers tore down the couple’s home and a house belonging to their relatives before leaving. Although police were alerted when the forced demolition happened, no action was taken. When contacted by Mirror Evening News, a local police chief vowed to “deal with the case according to the law if illegal behaviour was discovered.”

The Songs’ home was forcefully demolished. Photo: Weibo.

Forced demolitions, or forced evictions, are one of the major sources of social unrest in China. Home owners, usually farmers in rural areas, have reportedly been harassed and beaten while defending their homes or have committed suicide in protest of forced demolitions.

Vivienne Zeng

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.