New China web addict attack: state media


June 18, 2010 Updated Aug 19, 2009 at 3:30 AM EDT

A 14-year-old boy was in critical condition in hospital with kidney failure after repeated beatings at an Internet rehabilitation camp in southwest China, state media said Wednesday.

The incident in Sichuan province took place just weeks after another teenage boy was beaten to death at a similar rehabilitation centre in the south of the country where his parents had sent him to cure his Internet addiction.

The death triggered outrage on the Internet in China and drew worldwide publicity, while medical experts called for specific laws and regulations on the diagnosis and treatment of Internet addiction.

In Sichuan, Pu Liang was suffering from kidney failure stemming from repeated beatings at the camp where he was being held in solitary confinement when police found him on Thursday last week, the China Daily reported.

"My son was severely injured after he was beaten three times by the counselor and other students," the paper quoted the boy's father Pu Shiwei as saying.

"All injuries were done by people in the camp."

Following the incident, the unregistered Chinese Anti-Traditional Education Training Centre was shut down and its patients sent home, the report said.

Centre counsellors, who denied beating Pu, have been detained by police for questioning, while investigations into the beatings of Pu and other patients was ongoing, it said.

Pu's family paid the centre 5,000 yuan (715 dollars) for treatment to cure the teenager of his addiction to online computer games, it added.

Meanwhile, an autopsy of Deng Senshan, who was found dead at a rehab centre in south China's Guangxi region earlier this month, has concluded that the 15-year-old was beaten to death, Xinhua news agency said late Tuesday.

Police have detained 13 suspects who worked at the Qihang Salvation Training Camp and placed them under investigation for inflicting intentional injury and operating an illegal camp, the report said.

China has 10 million teenage web addicts, the China Daily said, citing data from the China Youth Internet Association.

The association said last week that there are at least 400 private Internet rehabilitation clinics nationwide.

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