More than 50 municipal inspectors beat to death an onlooker filming a confrontation between government officials and villagers in central China, CNN reports, sparking renewed criticism of China's press-freedom record. The head of the city administration bureau was fired today, reports the state news agency Xinhua, as authorities reacted quickly to forestall larger protests. The incident has set Chinese chat rooms ablaze.
Wei Wenhua, a 41-year-old construction company executive called "the first 'citizen journalist' to die in China," began filming with his cellphone after coming upon a confrontation between villagers and city inspectors attempting to dump waste near their homes. The inspectors—of whom 24 are now detained—then turned on Wei in a 5-minute attack.