Reporter Sun died in a hospital in Kuitun, Xinjiang Uighur
Autonomous Region, 10 days after being beaten by several men at a construction
site, news reports said. At least six young men attacked Sun at the site, where
the reporter had gone to meet a source.
Authorities dismissed journalism-related motives, saying the
attack stemmed from an online dispute involving a social media acquaintance of
Sun. The official account, carried widely in state-sanctioned media, was
greeted with skepticism in unofficial online media. Colleagues said Sun often
wrote stories critical of the local government, including recent reporting on
the demolition of a factory to make way for housing for local party leaders,
according to local and international reports.