The Chinese Embassy in Ghana confirmed on Wednesday that 124 Chinese citizens have been detained for alleged illegal gold mining in Ghana. Photos of Chinese miners reportedly being abused by Ghanaians have surfaced on Chinese social media site Weibo, prompting outrage and cries for the Chinese government to retaliate.
Yu Jie, spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Ghana, 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, Xinhua reported.
“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.
Ghana is second only to South Africa in terms of gold deposits in African countries. Recently, news of Chinese miners prospering in Ghana surfaced, with mentions of some illegal conduct and friction between Chinese miners and native Ghanaians.
Many Chinese miners have taken to the forests to hide from Ghanaian authorities.
Chinese netizens are circulating news of the arrest and photos of the abused miners. Rumors of Chinese citizens being killed and graphic photos are also being posted. Many are dissatisfied with the Chinese embassy’s passive reaction thus far, and are calling for the Chinese government to protect its people.
“Stop your so-called ‘cautions’ to your people. If so many Americans were killed in Ghana, the [American] army would be there by now!” VIP Weibo user Mr王锦胜 said.