New York, December 22, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the vicious beating of reporter Sun Hongjie and doubts official reports that the attack occurred because of an online dispute with a social media acquaintance. Sun, a reporter for the Northern Xinjiang Morning Post
(known locally at the Beijiang Morning Post
) was attacked by a group of six people after he had gone to meet a source at a construction site in the small city of Kuitin
on Saturday night, according to international news reports. He was discovered at the site on Sunday morning. The state news agency, Xinhua, has reported that he is brain-dead.