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5.8.09


A teenager was allegedly beaten to death by trainers at a rehabilitation camp in southern China where his parents had sent him to cure
his Internet addiction, reports said on Tuesday.

The three supervisors who allegedly beat Deng Senshan, 16, were arrested after the boy's death early on Sunday, his father Deng Fei told the Global Times.

"We are investigating a case where a high school student was beaten to death by his camp supervisors. The case is still under investigation," a police officer in Nanning, Guangxi region, was quoted as saying.

Deng Fei said he paid 7,000 yuan (1,000 dollars) to give his son a month's training at the Guangxi Qihuang Survival Training Camp to rid him of his addiction to the Internet.

But instead, he said, the boy was put in solitary confinement shortly after his arrival and then beaten to death by his trainers who scolded him for running too slowly.

'China's Internet Guard Dog', by Chris Johnston"My son was very healthy and was not a criminal. He just had an Internet addiction when I left him at the camp," Deng Fei told the paper.

"We can't believe our only son was beaten to death."

China has the world's largest number of Internet users with 338 million -- more than the entire population of the United States.

More than 10 million of the country's 100 million teenage web surfers are Internet addicts, the China Daily said, citing a survey by the China Youth Internet Association last year.

There is controversy over the treatments for Internet addiction and how it is diagnosed. The health ministry last month banned the use of electroshock therapy to treat Internet addiction, the China Daily said.

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