November 11, 2008 / 3:46 AM / 11 years ago

China jails security officers for fatal beating

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has jailed four security officers involved in beating to death a man who filmed them clashing with villagers over a rubbish dump, local media reported on Tuesday.

Authorities in January arrested at least a dozen urban management officials in Tianmen, in central China’s Hubei province, for their part in the death of Wei Wenhua, a local construction company manager, state media reported.

Urban management officials are employed in Chinese cities as a secondary security force to take the pressure off police, but are regularly accused of heavy-handedness in carrying out their duties, which often includes waste management and supervising street vendors.

Wei, who stopped to film a brawl using his mobile phone, was discovered and beaten by more than 20 of the officials, the Beijing News said, citing the Qianjiang People’s Court in Hubei.

He died after the beating triggered a heart attack, the newspaper said, citing notes from the court.

The court sentenced the head officer involved to six years in jail, while three others were handed jail terms of between three and five years.

The court decision comes as authorities in the northeastern city of Harbin investigate six police officers for their part in a melee outside a nightclub that lead to the death of a sports university graduate.

Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by David Fox

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