01/11/2008, 00.00
CHINA
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The head of some inspectors who beat a man to death has been arrested

On January 7, the inspectors beat and kicked to death Wei Wenhua, who witnessed their dispute with locals. After widespread national protest, the local head of the communist party is now promising "justice". Under accusation is a security force that too often acts violently.
Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The head of the urban administration of Tianmen (Hubei), Qi Zhengjun, has been arrested in the murder of Wei Wenhua (in the photo), who on January 7 was beaten and kicked to death by the municipal inspectors (chengguan). At least another 100 inspectors are under investigation.
 
Wei, a random passer-by, had stopped to film with his cell phone the dispute between dozens of inspectors and the residents who were protesting the dumping of garbage near their homes, because of the smell and the pollution of their drinking water. When Wei refused to go away, about fifty inspectors attacked him and beat him to death. The victim was a 41-year-old manager, married and with a 14-year-old daughter.
 
The incident raised protests all over the country, with tens of thousands of people who posted accusations on the internet, as well as calls for the abolition of the chengguan, a para-police force that has often been accused of violence and abuse of power. This group answers only to the municipal administration.
 
Bie Bixiong, head of the communist party in Tianmen, called the killing "unforgivable", and promised that "all the people involved will be punished severely according to the law, no matter who they are".
 
Four of the twenty-four inspectors detained by the local police remain in jail. Five residents were also wounded in the confrontation - three of them suffered fractures, and are still in the hospital.
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