Ghanaian immigration authorities announced on Wednesday that they have arrested 124 Chinese citizens accused of mining gold illegally.
The Chinese Embassy in Ghana confirmed the arrests to Xinhua on Wednesday. The Embassy’s spokenperson, Yu Jie, said the embassy has urged the Ghanaian government to ensure the legal rights of the arrested personnel and called for strong discipline for Ghana security agencies in enforcing laws.
“We have cautioned all the Chinese people in Ghana to strictly abide by the related laws and regulations and never to be misled by the unauthorized information in internet, ” Yu said.
Under Ghanaian law, foreign companies operating independently can only work on large mines.
A first person account, shared online, by a Chinese citizen in Ghana accused Chinese miners of raping and harassing locals. Numerous photos have also been uploaded to Weibo, purporting to show abuse of Chinese workers by Ghanaian security forces.
“I wouldn’t be surprised If one day, anti-Chinese incidents happen here in Ghana,” wrote the author at the beginning of his article. The writer, who has lived in Ghana and is not identified as a miner, wanted to stay anonymous, said a friend who spoke to the South China Morning Post.
The article accuses the thousands of Shanglin gold miners of abusing Ghanaian workers “on a daily basis”.
“[The locals] work the dirtiest and toughest jobs, but are fed the most terrible food – worse than what the Chinese feed their dogs,” it said.
Among the numerous accusations against the Ghanaian security services circulating on Weibo is one which claims that soldiers shot and killed several Chinese miners. One user posted a photo of a Chinese man he said had been shot at point blank range in the face (warning: graphic photo). Angry netizens called on Beijing to send troops to protect Chinese miners, and many accused the embassy in Accra of failing to protect its citizens.
[Images via Weibo]