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China

Journalist probing into public health scandal stabbed to death

A Chinese journalist covering a scandal related to illegal cooking oil was found stabbed to death on Sept. 18, according to an article in China Daily. He was stabbed more than 10 times on his way home.

The reporter, Li Xiang, worked for Luoyang Television in Luoyang, Henan province. He had been following a police investigation into illegal trade of carcinogenic oil, which is also called gutter oil, the Committee to Protect Journalists reported.

The police declared that the motive for the stabbing was robbery because of Li’s missing laptop, according to the China Daily article. However, local newspapers and bloggers believed that Li’s death was related to the scandal, the CPJ article reported.

Agence France-Presse reported that Li’s last entry on his site was about the scandal. According to the research of the New York Times at least 2 million tons of gutter oil are recycled illegally every year in China.

The Committee to Protect Journalists called on further investigation on Sept. 20.

“Given China’s history of obstructing coverage of food scandals, authorities must thoroughly consider his reporting as a possible motive,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asian program coordinator.

None of the journalists with Luoyang Television have commented on his murder, according to Reporters Without Borders. Reporters Without Borders offered condolences to Li’s family and colleagues.

One of Li’s friends told China Daily that he couldn’t believe what had happened. He said Li had been planning for his wedding in October.

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