Authorities have fired an official in central China after city inspectors beat to death a man who filmed their confrontation with villagers, China’s Xinhua news agency reports. The killing has sparked outrage in China, with thousands expressing outrage in Chinese Internet chat rooms, often the only outlet for public criticism of the government. The incident has also alarmed advocates of press freedom, who say municipal authorities had no right to attack a man for simply filming them. Police have detained 24 municipal inspectors and are investigating more than 100 in the death of Wei Wenhua, a 41-year-old construction company executive, Xinhua reported on Friday. On Monday Wei happened on a confrontation in the central Chinese province of Hubei between city inspectors and villagers protesting over the dumping of waste near their homes.
A scuffle developed when residents tried to prevent trucks from unloading the rubbish, Xinhua said. When Wei took out his cell phone to record the protest, more than 50 municipal inspectors turned on him, attacking him for five minutes, Xinhua said. Wei was dead on arrival at a Tianmen hospital, the report said. Qi Zhengjun, chief of the urban administration bureau in the city of Tianmen, lost his job over the incident, Xinhua reported Friday. “Wei is the first ‘citizen journalist’ to die in China because of what he was trying to film,” the group said in a statement. “He was beaten to death for doing something which is becoming more and more common and which was a way to expose law-enforcement officers who keep on overstepping their limits.”
Sunday, January 13, 2008
China blogger beaten to death
via Dvorak Uncensored Published on January 12th, 2008