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Zhejiang police deny allegations suspect died after being beaten in custody

By Liu Sheng (Global Times)

13:28, June 19, 2013

A 27-year-old man died after allegedly being beaten while he was detained for over six hours in a police station in Yongkang, Zhejiang Province Friday.

The deceased, Chen Shaoxiong from Yunnan Province, was detained for theft, but died of undetermined causes in a local hospital, according to a statement from Yongkang Public Security Bureau on Tuesday.

"Three of us were surfing online in a cybercafé around 8 am on Friday, when police came in and handcuffed us all, and beat us heavily in the police station," Chen Yi, the man's cousin, told the Global Times.

"We were separated in three rooms; three to four officers kicked my legs, and they kept asking me to tell them everything I knew. I could hear my cousin screaming next door," said Chen. "Police hit me without asking any questions, and didn't even check our ID cards."

The police statement said the man was suspected of stealing a moped worth 2,610 yuan ($425.4) and selling it for 1,000 yuan in July last year. He didn't confess to the theft, but admitted he knew others who stole.

When the suspect complained of a stomachache around 2 pm, police, who suspected he had heatstroke, sent him to hospital when his condition did not improve. He passed away at 4:30 pm in hospital after emergency treatment.

"I believe my cousin was beaten to death. We weren't allowed to take photos of his body before the autopsy," said Chen.

"We'll do an autopsy, and release the result as soon as possible," an officer surnamed Chen from Yongkang Public Security Bureau told the Global Times.

"If it's found the man's death was caused by police, the family could charge them with intentional injury or murder," said Han Yusheng, professor of criminal law from the Renmin University of China.

If police did maltreat the suspect, they could face administrative punishments even if the man's death was not caused by them, he told the Global Times.

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