Businessman beaten to death in Rio
( 2003-09-08 06:59) (China Daily)
Six Brazilian prison guards suspected of beating a Chinese-Brazilian businessman to death have been detained while being investigated by Brazilian police, sources from the Chinese Consulate in Rio de Janeiro said Sunday.
All of the six were on duty on the day when businessman Chen Janzhan was in custody at Ary Franco Prison where they all worked, said a consulate official surnamed Wang in a telephone interview with China Daily Sunday.
Each prison guard could be sentenced with eight to 16 years of imprisonment, once the charge of assault causing death was established according to Brazilian law, the official said.
Meanwhile, the warden of the prison was also suspended and is also under investigation, she said.
The 46-year-old businessman, who was believed to have immigrated to Brazil over 20 years ago, was allegedly beaten to death.
He was detained because he failed to declare a large amount of cash at the Tomjobim International Airport customs gate in Rio when he was due to fly to the United States on August 25. He was said to have carried more than US$30,000 when he tried to board the plane.
Chen died of serious injuries in Salgadofilho Hospital in Rio on Thursday, and his funeral ceremony was held the next day.
The Chinese Consulate in Rio expressed great concern over the case and urged Brazilian authorities to carry out immediate investigations on the matter.
Chen's death shocked Chinese people in Brazil, sparking protests towards Brazil authorities to punish the murderer.
According to the Beijing-based Beijing Times, officials of the prison claimed initially that Chen became enraged and got out of control after he was detained, but examination of the body at a Rio hospital proved that Chen was injured by serious beating.
On September 4, a spokesman responsible for prison affairs admitted that Chen was beaten to death.
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