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Activist severely beaten

The week's news at a glance.

Taishi, China

A Chinese pro-democracy activist was beaten unconscious this week, directly in front of a British reporter. Lu Banglie was taking The Guardian’s Benjamin Joffe-Walt to a village where peasants had been demonstrating against corruption by local officials. A drunken mob, believed to be thugs hired by those officials, pulled Lu out of the taxi, hitting, kicking, and stomping on him until he passed out, bleeding. Police, standing by, did not intervene. The injured Lu said authorities were trying to crush the grassroots democracy movement that has been spreading across rural China. “They try to prevent news from leaking out,” he said, “which hurts not only the democratization of Taishi village but the entire country.”

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