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Girl, 7, dies after being beaten by father
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A seven-year-old girl in a remote town in western China died two hours after being beaten by her father.

The girl was beaten because she could not write a Chinese character correctly, West China Metropolis Daily reported yesterday.

Police in Nanjiang County of Sichuan Province, where the girl lived, are investigating her death, and the results of the autopsy will be released soon, the newspaper said.

The girl's father, surnamed Zhou, told the newspaper that he beat his daughter on October 12 when he saw that she couldn't do her homework properly.

"She said she had trouble with her homework, so I tried to teach her," the newspaper quoted Zhou saying.

"But she still couldn't remember how to write a Chinese character. I got so angry that I beat her with a stick."

Zhou said he started beating his daughter around 5 pm that day and hit her on the back, legs and arms. The beating continued for nearly one hour.

Around 8 pm, the girl started to vomit and her face turned pale. She was taken to a hospital but after receiving emergency treatment she died.

Though admitting he was partly to blame for his daughter's death, the father, who only has a primary school education, said he regarded it as his fate. "A fortune-teller told me that I am destined not to have a daughter in my life," Zhou said. He has two sons, aged 21 and 12.

The girl's mother, surnamed Yang, told the newspaper that in the countryside it is normal for parents to beat their children to discipline them.

The entire family was present when Zhou beat his daughter, but no one tried to stop it, she said.

The mother added that the girl had been beaten previously but had never suffered any serious injuries.

(Shanghai Daily October 22, 2008)

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