A woman allegedly had a heart attack during a pause of her interrogation. Her body was covered with bruises, and a video indicates she was tortured to death.
by Lei Shihong
That netizens manage to be informed and protest about police violence and extra-judicial killings is a positive development in China, and a problem for the CCP. Xi Jinping himself repeatedly vituperates against the “Internet chaos.” Simply put, messages spread and become viral before the censors manage to intervene and delete them.
The last scandal concerns “the woman who died in the police station’s toilet.” It originates from a video posted by the daughter of one Zhao Youxiang, a woman who on June 14 was summoned for questioning to the Guanyin Bridge Police Station in Cili County, which is under administration of the prefecture-level city of Zhangjiajie, in Hunan province.
In the afternoon, the daughter was summoned to the hospital where her mother had been taken by the police, only to find her dead for “cardiac arrythmia.” The daughter found the mother’s body covered with bruises, and she knew she had no heart condition.
She went to the police asking for the customary video and audio recording of the interrogation but was told there was none (although Chinese law makes it mandatory). She decided to go public and post a video on social media.
After the video went viral, the police told the daughter that the mother had a sudden heart attack while she was going alone to use the police station’s toilet, fell to the ground, and could not be helped. The daughter did not believe the story. Suspects under interrogation are rarely allowed to use the toilet, and if they do, a female suspect would be accompanied by a female police officer, even inside the toilet.
The logical conclusion was that Zhao Youxiang had been tortured to death by the police.
Since the social media controversy was impossible to stop, the authorities announced that a joint investigation team was instituted by the Cili County Political and Legal Committee, the County Commission for Disciplinary Inspection, and the County People’s Procuratorate. However, the short report released on June 20 did not offer new explanations about the case of death. A good part of it was devoted to explaining that Zhao Youxiang was being interrogated for crimes connected with prostitution.
Obviously, the authorities tried to create a bad image of the victim. But, even if she was a prostitute or involved in a prostitution ring, certainly she did not deserve to be beaten to death.