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Mr Chen had been campaigning to shut the paper mills he said were poisoning his local rivers, after members of his family fell ill. When a local businessman, Jin Zengmin, posted pictures of a rubbish-filled river in Rui’an city on his microblog last week and offered officials 200,000 yuan (£24,000) to take a dip, Mr Chen followed his lead.
But soon after posting his own offer online, a group of men came to Mr Chen’s home, his daughter, Chen Xiufang, told The Independent.
“While Father was alone at home, at 6am on the 24th, around 40 men and women in plain clothes who were recruited by the government came to the house,” she alleged. “They came in and they started smashing everything.”
Ms Chen said her father suffered injuries to his head and feet and that he was now on a drip.