Chinese Citizen Journalist Killed
The story of Wei Wenhua's killing appeared in the Thursday 10 January edition of the Guardian.
What was Mr. Wenhua filming that would cause a large group of government workers set upon him?
On Monday, Wei Wenhau accidentally found himself a witness to a confrontation in the town where he lived in the central Chinese province of Hubei.
Villagers were quarreling with city officials who had arrived in the area to dump waste near their homes. When the officials started to unload the rubbish, a scuffle broke out.
Wenhau worked at a senior level for a construction company and was also a member of the Communist party. He was an upstanding member of the community and on seeing the violence he thought he'd record it.
Reporters With Boarders said this about the incident
Reporters Without Borders is appalled by the way a construction company executive, Wei Wenhua, was beaten to death by municipal law enforcement officers known as “chengguan” in Tianmen, in the province of Hubei, on 7 January when he used his mobile phone camera to film them in a violent clash with protesters.
“We are horrified by the readiness of the local authorities to trample on the freedom of information and expression,” the press freedom organisation said. “There was no justification for this behaviour. Wei is the first ‘citizen journalist’ to die in China because of what he was trying to film. He was beaten to death for doing something which is becoming more and more common and which was a way to expose law enforcement officers who keep on overstepping the limits.”
Because of the Chinese governments draconian efforts to suppress its citizens access to information through press censorship it takes the efforts of the average citizen to bring these stories into the light of day.
China: Mass show of sympathy over Hubei man beaten to death
Posted January 10, 2008
Thousands of ordinary Chinese citizens have gathered outside government offices in the central city of Tianmen, Hubei province, in a popular wave of anger and sympathy following the beating to death of a man last week by law enforcement officials.