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Angry Bystanders Retaliate Police Brutality in Xinjiang

China News Digest, 25 July 2001

[CND, 07/25/00] It has been confirmed that at least in two cases, police brutality was revenged by angry bystanders in Xinjiang autonomous region during last two weeks according to a police officer from the Supervision Department of the Urumqi Public Security Bureau confirmed, the South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday.

On July 15, a furious court police officer dragged a taxi driver out of his car and beat him up ruthlessly after his police vehicle bumped into the cab. The beating provoked retaliation from a crowd of over 1,000 angry bystanders who witnessed the incident. The crowd was dispersed by the police on an hour later after the taxi driver was rushed to the hospital.

The officer was badly injured as well but was at fault based on the police spokesman's statement. The injured office was still talking tough when he was surrounded by the angry crowd, according to the Worker's Daily's report on Monday.

A similar incident occurred two days later when two men in police uniform beat up Ms. MA Qing, an owner of a beauty shop who refused to give the men a free haircut. The runaway vehicle was surrounded by an furious crowd after it took off and dragged Ms. Ma for about 10 meters along the ground, who was trying to stop the car from fleeing. The men were arrested later by the police.

According to the preliminary investigation conducted by the Xinshi District police department, one of the men was with Xinjiang Higher People's Court, but another man in police uniform was a self-employed businessman.

Both cases are under investigation and the policemen will be punished if they are found guilty of brutality as charged, the Supervision Department said. (SUN Xiaoan)