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December 16, 2009

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Calling drinker 'martyr,' chief is sacked

A TRAFFIC police chief in south China was sacked after he designated an officer who died in a drinking binge as a "martyr who sacrificed himself on duty."

Xie Feiyong, chief of a traffic police brigade in Shenzhen City's Bao'an District, illegally designated the title to an unqualified candidate, the Guangzhou Daily quoted the Shenzhen City's traffic police authority as saying.

Chen Lujun, the dead traffic officer, choked to death on his own vomit after drinking too much alcohol at a banquet with government officials on October 28. Chen was off-duty when he attended the banquet with officials from Mabu Village.

The city's traffic police said Xie's decision to declare Chen a martyr was not reported to any supervisor, let alone approved.

The report also said Xie did so to console Chen's family, who were not satisfied with the compensation the police offered. By making Chen a martyr, the family could get more.

Chen's family now live in the traffic brigade office as a way to protest for more compensation. They even set up a mourning hall in the brigade with burning candles and sacrifices dedicated to the late officer.

Unnamed officers in the brigade said Xie was trying to console Chen's family and stop them from pestering the brigade from its daily work, according to the report.

Chen's death was not rare among Chinese officials as toasting and "bottom-up" is usually considered a banquet culture in China.


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