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August 4, 2009

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Internet addict beaten to death in therapy center

TEACHERS at a juvenile guidance center allegedly beat to death a student who was addicted to the Internet in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The student, surnamed Deng from Guilin City, was sent by his parents to the center on Saturday afternoon and was placed in confinement that evening, China National Radio reported on Sunday.

The report didn't say how or why he was beaten. The center sent Deng to hospital early Sunday morning without a pulse. He was announced dead at about 3am, the report said.

Police have detained some teachers over the incident.

The center tries to treat young people who are addicted to the Internet or have other problems with exercise and labor. Once admitted to the center, a person is not allowed any contact with the outside world for the duration of their stay, the report said.

Deng's parents paid 7,000 yuan (US$1,030) for Deng to stay one month at the center.

The parents were told the center uses punitive education, but that Deng would not be maltreated, according to the report.

The boy's parents said Deng is healthy and strong.

More than 100 young people are staying at the center now, the report said.

There are an estimated 16 million juveniles addicted to the Internet across the country. More than 300 organizations have started operating to treat them, although the country has no standard for judging Internet addiction.


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