Chinese activist severely beaten by "mob"

Monday, October 10, 2005

Guardian journalist Benjamin Joffe-Walt has claimed to have witnessed democracy activist Lu Banglie beaten "lifeless" by a mob on Saturday night. Joffe-Walt and Lu were in a taxi attempting to enter the villiage of Taishi, which the journalist described as "the hotspot of the growing rural uprisings in China".

According to Mr Joffe-Walt, their car was surrounded by a group of about 30 men. When the men recognised Mr Lu, "... they completely lost it. They pulled him out and bashed him to the ground, kicked him, pulverised him, stomped on his head over and over again. The beating was loud, like the crack of a wooden board, and he was unconscious within 30 seconds. They continued for 10 minutes. The body of this skinny little man turned to putty between the kicking legs of the rancorous men."

Mr Lu was later found to have survived but suffered serious injuries. Mr Lu has told the Guardian that he was battered unconscious and later driven hundreds of miles to his home town where he is now recuperating. Civil rights lawyers said they were considering a legal case against his attackers, thought to be a group of thugs hired by the local authorities to put down an anti-corruption campaign against the chief of Taishi village.