A Chinese police department in the country's central province of Henan acknowledged that some of its officers may have tortured a suspect who died while being held in police custody, Agence French Presse reported Tuesday.

“On March 12, 2017, a suspect died while our bureau’s criminal investigation squad was handling a case of a telecommunications fraud ring,” the Wenxian County Police Department posted on its Weibo account, a Chinese social media site similar to Twitter, on March 13. “The People's Police handling the case are suspected of using torture to extract confessions and collect evidence.”

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The Weibo post was seen by 13 million different users, the Global Times reported Tuesday, with the majority of  Weibo commenters praising the department for its transparency in the police brutality case. 

The officers accused of misconduct have been suspended from their positions while their cases are being investigated by the local law enforcement. 

It has yet to be determined whether the suspect who was tortured in police custody was brought to the hospital to receive treatment, or if he died while being held at the police station. 

While this was not the first time Chinese police admitted to torturing suspects in detention, the Wenxian County Police Department's social media post represented the first time the police disclosed doing so through a public network, Chen Guangshong of the China University of Political Science and Law told the AFP.

A federal court in Beijing came under fire in December for dropping police brutality charges against five Chinese officers accused of killing a man in detention by using improper force. Lei Yang , 29, was arrested in the Changping district of Beijing at a foot massage parlor on suspicion of soliciting prostitution. Officers tackled Lei when he tried to run away officers and reportedly grabbed his hair, wrapped an arm around his neck and pressed his head into the ground. When the police brought him to a local hospital, where Lei died two hours later, his body was reportedly covered in bruises, causing many to point to police brutality.