From November 2007 to January 2008, the Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch (CRLW) conducted an investigation on farmers who lost their land due to construction of the 2008 Beijing Olympics Games main event hall. This process enables us to have a better understanding of the protection of their legal rights during the relocation. The investigated area covers the Beijing Olympic Village community office (the former Beijing Chaoyang District Wali village) and Beijing Datun community office (the former Beijing Chaoyang District Datun village). Below is the detailed report. 
Explanation of “Report of Investigations on Land Losers at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Main Event Hall”
The main reason to conduct this investigation is to bring to the world’s attention more and more farmers who lost their land during the process of economic development. We hope to use the 2008 Olympic Games as an opportunity to raise attention to this particular group of farmers.
Through this investigation, we are glad to see that the government did grant these villagers certain things. Their lifestyle appeared to have positive changes. On the other hand, regrettably, we found that the farmers faced many aspects of infringement upon their basic rights during the land confiscation and relocation process.
After taking over the lands in these two villages, the local government compensated each farmer family with 100,000 Yuan ($13,974.7) for each house. In Wali village, when a house was pulled down, the local government gave money compensation; in Datun when a house was pulled down, the government relocated the villagers to a specially constructed home. At the same time, the villagers were given social securities, the elderly were given pensions, and the majority of these villagers were given a job. The villagers’ lifestyle had a positive change, given the status of a city citizen they felt a glimpse of the convenience of city life.
Regarding land confiscation compensation, these farmers are not happy with the way of distributing collective properties. They think it is illegitimate. Also, the villagers think the compensation does not cover the land they lost, with soaring land and housing prices. In the process, violence was used in enforcing the reallocation. On some occasions, the local officials forced the farmers to reallocate without permit. In Datun village, farmers complained about the small size of the new housing, no property ownership certificate, and poor quality of the distributed housing. In Wali village, farmers had to purchase commodity housing with meager monetary compensation.
In the investigation process, we also discovered that there had been multiple episodes of unrest among the villagers to fight for their land rights. More than 200 people once made a petition with higher authorities; there was a one-month period of sitting petition; some filed lawsuits against local authorities; some residents of the Olympic Village tied themselves to a tree to refuse the Olympic organizers from clearing the land and removing the trees.
Alongside this, we also understand some villagers were persecuted for fighting for their basic rights. For example, in 2006 Ma Jingxue from Wali village was sentenced to a year in labor camp, in 2007 was again sentenced to two years in labor camp both under the charge of “hooligan activities.” Lu Qingcheng from Datun village was forcefully detained.
During this investigation, we received vigorous support and participation from the villagers of Wali village and Datun village. They provided us with massive materials and information. We would like to express our appreciation for their contribution.
We hope this investigation will bring these Chinese farmers who lost their lands to the world’s attention. We hope our government will listen to the voices of the people and improve the protection of basic rights of these farmers.
Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch (CRLW)
 Website of CRLW, February 4, 2008