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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 February 2006, 11:00 GMT
China editor 'died after beating'
A Chinese editor has died as a result of a police beating he received for his paper's reporting on corruption, journalists and rights groups say.

Wu Xianghu had been in hospital since the attack in October, suffering from an existing liver problem made worse by the beating, earlier reports said.

Wu was reportedly attacked by some 50 policemen after his paper accused them of charging illegal bicycle fees.

China's media have reported a string of torture and coercion cases by police.

Wu died of liver and kidney failure on Thursday, according to Lu Weibo, a reporter with the Taizhou Evening News, who wrote the article believed to have provoked the beating.

The article accused the local police of charging illegal fees for registering electric bicycles.

Local media reported widely on the beating, but have been silent on Wu's death, possibly reflecting its sensitivity.

Senior traffic police officer Li Xiaoguo was sacked for his role in the incident, Xinhua state news agency reported at the time.

Wu's death "is a cruel reminder of the new dangers faced by Chinese journalists," said the executive director of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, Ann Cooper, in a press release.

"The government must ensure the safety of the working press. This begins by bringing to justice the attackers of Wu Xianghu," she said.

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