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Officers punished for beating lawyer

[ 2010-10-20 13:14]     字号 [] [] []  
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Four policemen in Wenchuan county, epicenter of the 2008 earthquake in Southwest China's Sichuan province, have been punished for attacking a lawyer who refused to make way for officials who were visiting a rebuilt school.

Beijing lawyer Zhou Ze and two of his friends were on their way to visit a rebuilt middle school in Yingxiu town on Saturday.

"Suddenly, at the square near the school a young man appeared and asked me to get out immediately. He told me there were some officials inspecting the school," Zhou told China Daily on Tuesday.

Zhou said he refused to leave, and when his friend saw a group of officials walking out of the campus she took a picture of them.

"The young man immediately yelled at my friend and asked her to delete the picture," said Zhou.

"I raised my voice and told him he had no right to do so, then several young men came and beat me. Later they handcuffed me for about 10 minutes and my wrists were slightly injured," he added.

Zhou said he had no idea who these young men and officials were. He claimed that when he asked them why they handcuffed him, they answered: "We handcuffed you because you gathered a crowd and made trouble in public."

Later, Zhou called the police, and was told that the ones who attacked him were carrying out a special task and it was Zhou who was responsible for making trouble there.

On Saturday night, Zhou expressed his anger in his online blog, which immediately attracted many readers, including reporters.

"About 11 pm, Hu Yong, deputy director of the public security bureau of Wenchuan county, called me and said sorry, and that's when I knew the attackers were policemen," Zhou said.

During the call, Zhou also learned that the officials who were inspecting included two top officials of the county and might have also included a provincial official.

Hu Yong and Zuo Guang-lei, two directors of the bureau, have apologized to Zhou, saying the policemen's behavior was inappropriate and violent.

Zuo said the officers were nervous about their special task and wanted to make sure nobody was in the officials' way.

On Monday, the bureau said three officers were suspended for 30 days and another one received a warning. Each was fined 200 yuan ($30).

But Zhou said he was disappointed in the punishments. He said there were at least six officers, but only four were lightly punished.

However, an official surnamed Tang at the Wenchuan police bureau told China Daily that it could be a misunderstanding.

"The police at that time might not have handled the case properly," Tang said over the phone on Tuesday. "They were not good at dealing with emergencies. As police, we should learn more about how to communicate with common people.”


1. What was the young woman attacked for?

2. How much were the policemen fined?

3. What did an official surnamed Tang blame the attack on?


1. Taking pictures of an official.

2. 200 yuan.

3. The officers dealing poorly with an emergency.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Officers punished for beating lawyer

Officers punished for beating lawyer

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China daily for one year.