From The Financial Times:
The severe beating and possible murder of a grassroots activist in southern China at the weekend has highlighted the deep-seated problems in implementing the limited democratic reforms allowed at the local level by the central government in Beijing.
Lu Banglie was dragged from a car by a small gang manning roadblocks outside the village of Taishi, where he had been advising residents challenging what they believe was a rigged local election.
A journalist with The Guardian newspaper of Britain, who was travelling in the car with Mr Lu and witnessed the beating, said the activist had been left “lifeless” by the side of the road. He has not been heard of since and is feared dead.