China Officials Punished After Tourist Beaten

Posted September 24th, 2011 at 2:30 am (UTC-5)
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Chinese state media said Saturday that six local officials were punished after a tourist was dragged from his Beijing hotel, beaten, and dumped on the side of a road after being mistaken for a petitioner.

The official Xinhua news agency said Zhao Zhipei, a tourist from Luoyang in Henan province, was staying at a hotel earlier this month near the State Bureau of Letters and Calls, where petitioners file complaints. Several men entered his room and dragged him and three petitioners into a van, where Zhao was severely beaten and driven back to his home.

Xinhua cited local authorities as saying employees of a Beijing security firm hired by the Luoyang Letters and Calls bureau were responsible for the beating.

Xinhua said one official had been removed from his post, another suspended and four given warnings, while a senior official apologized to Zhao.

Under Chinese law, people can petition government authorities at various levels abut injustices or unresolved disputes. Many petition Beijing officials after getting no satisfaction from local authorities.