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October 10, 2009

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Suspect choked with cigarettes

SIX police officers in central China have been sentenced to up to 12 years in prison after a suspect in their care died. They had stuffed lit cigarettes up his nose and beat him repeatedly, prosecutors said.

The victim, Wang Xilian, died one day after he was detained in February by police in Dingyuan County, Anhui Province, Qilu Evening News has reported.

The officers slapped Wang on his face and refused to allow him to rest or eat when he wouldn't confess to a burglary, the report said.

Shi Xihong, Wang Guibing, and four other officers involved in the case stuffed lit cigarettes in the suspect's nostrils and put a paper bag over his head, according to the newspaper. They reportedly used up to 90 cigarettes to choke Wang. He was also beaten, prevented from sleeping and forced to stand for long periods, the report added.

Wang broke down and confessed on February 24 that he had served as a lookout for the burglary. But that wasn't enough for Wang Guibing, vice commander of the police team, the report said.

The six officers reportedly beat Wang again and forced him to confess that he also broke into the house and conducted the theft himself.

Wang fell into a coma the next morning and died in hospital hours later.

Prosecutors said the police officers' actions were "shockingly cruel," according to the newspaper's report.


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