Beijing: Bloomberg News said on Monday that one of its journalists was assaulted as Chinese security personnel staged an aggressive clampdown in Beijing at the weekend to thwart a call for public rallies.
The incident took place on Sunday as hundreds of police swarmed the capital's Wangfujing shopping street, which had been designated as an anti-government protest site for the second straight weekend in an anonymous online appeal.
The Bloomberg journalist was repeatedly punched and kicked by a group of at least five men in plainclothes -- apparently security personnel -- who also took his video camera and detained him in a nearby store, the news agency said.
He was later taken to a police station by uniformed personnel before being released, it said. His camera was later returned.
Bloomberg did not detail the extent of his injuries, but said he had sought treatment at a local hospital.
Police staged a show of force at Wangfujing, restricting access to the shopping area, aggressively pushing away foreign reporters with cameras and briefly detaining several. Police eventually cleared most people from the site.
Similar scenes took place at the Shanghai protest site near the city's People's Square.
The mysterious online protest appeal has urged citizens to gather for subtle "strolling" rallies in 13 cities each Sunday to highlight public anger with the government.
No actual protest actions were seen in Beijing, but journalists saw several people being bundled into police vans in Shanghai. It was unclear why they were being removed.
First Published: Monday, February 28, 2011, 10:52