A Chinese reporter has died of injuries sustained in a gang beating that some journalists say was linked to his investigative work on sensitive issues.
A colleague of Sun Hongjie says the reporter died Tuesday at a hospital in the city of Kuitun in northwestern China's Xinjiang region. He was severely beaten by a group of men at a construction site December 18.
Chinese authorities arrested six suspects and said the assault appeared to be the result of a personal dispute. But, other Chinese journalists say there may be another motive. Sun's colleagues say he had been working on a story about authorities ordering the demolition of buildings in Kuitun to make way for new homes for local government officials.
International media rights groups have called on the Chinese government to investigate the deadly assault on Sun.
China tightly controls its media, but some daring Chinese reporters occasionally report on corruption and other wrongdoing by government officials and businesses. Such journalists are routinely harassed and even jailed by Chinese authorities, but violent attacks on them are less common.