February 2, 2006, in Taizhou, ChinaWu, deputy editor of Taizhou Wanbao, died from serious injuries sustained when traffic police in the eastern coastal city of Taizhou, Zhejiang province, attacked him in October 2005 for an exposé that embarrassed them, according to international news reports.
Wu, 41, died of liver and kidney failure after months of hospitalization. State-run Xinhua News Agency reported that the assault had damaged his liver, which was already compromised due to a previously existing medical condition.
On October 20, 2005, dozens of uniformed traffic officers arrived at the offices of the Taizhou Wanbao evening newspaper, assaulted Wu, carried him from the building, and forced him into a police van. The attack stemmed from a report in the previous day's newspaper on high fee collections for electric bicycle licenses, according to local news reports.
Senior officer Li Xiaoguo was removed from his post for his role in the attack, Xinhua reported in October. Li had called the other police officers to the scene after his demands for an apology for the October 19 report had led to an argument with Wu. "I am not a policeman today," Li said during the attack, according to local news reports.
Taizhou Wanbao defended the report, saying that it was done in cooperation with local government agencies.
The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post quoted an unnamed staff member at the Taizhou News Group who said that authorities had prevented local media from reporting on Wu's death, and that his colleagues believed that criminal charges should be filed in the case.
Journalists who report on local crime and corruption in China's newly competitive media environment face increasing incidents of violent attack in retribution for their work, according to CPJ research.
Beats Covered: Corruption
Local or Foreign: Local
Type of Death: Murder
Suspected Source of Fire: Government Officials
Taken Captive: Yes
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