Fri, Apr 24, 2009 - Page 5 News List

Chinese enforcers are ‘worse than mobsters’: bloggers

AFP , BEIJING

Beijing media and blogs expressed outrage yesterday after Web users revealed a city government guide advising enforcement personnel on how to beat law violators without leaving evidence.

The tips were issued by the Beijing branch of an agency that is present in cities nationwide to enforce local ordinances. The agency is controversial in China because of multiple reports of its staff using excessive and sometimes deadly force.

Editorials in state-run newspapers and Web sites said the report would lend credence to the widespread perception of the Cheng Guan, or “City Management,” department as a lawless organization.

The revelations show “the utter degeneration of the Cheng Guan, this increasingly gangsterized force, into ... the most condemned group in China,” said a commentary on the Dongbei (Northeast) news Web site.

Among other tips, the manual advises “do not draw blood on the face or leave visible injuries on the body of the people you face; do not let anyone see you and perform these actions quickly,” excerpts on Chinese Web sites said.

Blog entries on the popular portal Sohu.com condemned the agency.

“They are worse than mobsters,” one Web user said.

The Beijing branch declined to comment, but state media reports quoted officials acknowledging the manual existed, but denying that staff were trained on how to beat people.

The agency, which is not a police force, is generally tasked with making sure China’s hordes of street peddlers and touts observe local ordinances.

The Ministry of Public Security said this month it had launched a three-month campaign to improve the conduct of police and prison staff.

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