Wu Xianghu

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Wu, 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.

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.