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14 police suspended after beating up journalists

(Global Times)    08:27, January 27, 2015

Fourteen police officers were suspended after three journalists in South China's Guangdong Province Monday claimed that they were severely beaten up by officials who allegedly consumed a rare and protected animal with government funds during an undercover interview.

The journalists from Guangzhou-based Nandu Daily said that several officials and security guards beat them up and seized their camera Wednesday night at a restaurant at Luohu district, Shenzhen, where the officials and guards allegedly gathered and consumed a giant salamander.

According to the Nandu Daily, 28 people attended the dinner party on Wednesday and several of them were from the local public security department, including the head of public security bureau of the Dongshen branch Wang Yuanping and retired official named Wang Yinghang. Shenzhen police said on Monday that they have started investigating the incident and Wang Yuanping was under investigation.

Several security guards were seen standing outside two of the restaurant's function rooms, the daily said. One man in a room was heard saying that "in my territory, it is my treat. I chose this because it is unique while it is under my control … And it is safe here," said the report.

After the journalists' identities being exposed as taking pictures, one of them was kicked and slapped while another was robbed of his cell phone, leaving his hands bleeding. The photographer was choked and beaten up, while his camera was smashed.

The report said that the dinner cost 6,352 yuan ($1,020), not counting the wine consumed. One of those at the dinner brought two cases of yellow wine and a giant salamander, which he claimed to be artificially bred in Guizhou Province.

The attendees also received a bag of fish from the local Donghu water reservoir, a main drinking water reservoir for Shenzhen, where fishing is banned.

An employee of the restaurant told the Nandu Daily that similar parties have been organized and paid for by a company manager surnamed Li.

Liu Qingsheng, the head of Shenzhen public security bureau, visited Nandu Daily on Saturday and told reporters that the party was organized and paid for by a retired official, but it was unclear whether the giant salamander was brought from Guizhou.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Wang Ao,Yao Chun)

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