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Probe into arrest, beating of girls

POLICE in Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province, said yesterday they were investigating a newspaper report that officers illegally detained two primary school girls believing them to be prostitutes and beat them during interrogation.

The Public Security Department of Kunming said it had suspended a police station director and five other police officers.

Authorities will "punish severely" any policemen found to have been involved in discipline violations, state radio reported yesterday, citing the city police department.

Prosecutors in Kunming's Wuhua District have launched an investigation into the case, China National Radio said.

Liu Shihua, the father of Liu Lili, 13, and Liu Fangfang, 15, asked district prosecutors to investigate, Yunnan Information Daily reported.

The Lius also asked for an apology and compensation from the police. The amount of compensation requested was not revealed.

Liu Fangfang and Liu Lili, both grade 6 students at Kunming Bohua Primary School, were caught in a police raid on the night of March 16, when they were leaving their home, according to their mother, Zhang Anfeng. The police claimed the sisters were prostitutes, she said.

The girls' parents and a friend of their father's, Pu Enfu, were at the scene and were also taken to the local police station. The next morning, all were released.

Both the father and his friend claimed they had been beaten by police in the detention house to extract a confession.

An examination at Kunming Forensic Hospital confirmed that Pu suffered minor injuries with bruising to his face and body and two broken ribs.

The girls' father could not afford an examination. Examinations of the sisters revealed they had suffered minor injuries and also showed that both girls were virgins.

Police told the Yunnan Information Daily that they had released the sisters as the Lius were not caught in the act.

Officers became suspicious when they saw Liu Fangfang ask a passer-by just outside her home: "Want to have fun?" Nie Tianjie, director of Wangjia°?qiao Police Station, said.

Nie said the officers had to use force as the girls, their parents and Pu resisted arrest.


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