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Chinese vigilante justice video goes viral

Cell phone footage showing a British man getting beaten up by Chinese youth for allegedly assaulting a young Chinese woman has gone viral on the internet with millions of viewers watching it. Sutirtho Patranobis reports.

world Updated: May 11, 2012 18:06 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

Cell phone footage showing a British man getting beaten up by Chinese youth for allegedly assaulting a young Chinese woman has gone viral on the internet with millions of viewers watching it.

It has sparked outrage on Chinese social media sites. The caption, according to local media, reads: “Beijingers, remember this laowai's (foreigner’s) face. We'll beat him up every time we see him.”

Some web users clicked the “dislike” button probably indicating that they would want suspected criminals to be tried by the law and not in the hands of vigilante groups.

The three-minute video first shows the foreigner standing over his victim who is lying on a flower bed on a street in Xicheng district of Beijing. The woman is heard crying for help and saying she doesn’t know the man. That’s when the footage begins and then shows passers-by getting together to beat up the man.

Seconds later, the suspect is shown running but then is caught and beaten up again. Later, he’s shown lying on the road with another passer-by preventing others from attacking the suspect who by then appears unconscious and lying on the street.

The man, whose identity has not been released, has a tourist visa and was drunk at the time of his arrest at Xuanwumen, according to a statement posted on the Beijing police Sina Weibo micro blog.

He was taken to Xuanwu Hospital for treatment on Tuesday night and transferred to a detention facility on Wednesday.

"The investigation is ongoing and further information will be released later," Zhao Feng, a police officer involved with the case, told China Daily.

A spokesman for the British embassy in Beijing told local media that the embassy was aware of the incident but had received no request for consular support as of 7:30 pm on Thursday.