Agitators for democracy in China and civil rights activists plan to keep up the pressure on Beijing over the mysterious death of dissident Li Wangyang. They are demanding a formal criminal investigation and they want suspects in custody.
Among those calling for justice is the chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China (the Alliance), Lee Cheuk Yan. Lee plans to voice his demands to Party leader Hu Jintao when he visits Hong Kong on July 1 for both the 15th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China, and the inauguration of Hong Kong’s new government led by Leung Chungying.
“Wherever Hu Jintao goes, we will go as well!” Lee said.
Li Wangyang, a labor union leader and democracy activist from Hunan, was found dead in his hospital ward on June 6, apparently having committed suicide. However, many questions remain over the suspicious circumstances of his death.
“Hong Kong’s citizens have demanded an inquiry for further information, and the Central Government is obliged to respond to the public’s requests,” said Richard Tsoi, vice chairman of the Alliance in Hong Kong.
The Civil Human Rights Front has planned street marches on 1 July. According to its spokesman, Gary Fan Kwok-wai, they have drawn up a petition calling for the Chinese authorities to investigate Li Wangyang’s death, and various groups will be collecting petition signatures from the public. He said, “We will have Leung Chunying submit the petition to Hu Jintao. If he is unwilling to do so, we will find another opportunity to hand it to Hu Jintao.” “We hope that Hu Jintao will remain in Hong Kong on the afternoon of July 1, and personally listen to the appeals of Hong Kong people,” he added.
The forensic autopsy was done by the medical center at Sun Yat-sen University, and was commissioned by Hunan authorities. The medical center was the same one that carried out the autopsy of Xue Jinbo, a village leader whose death while in police custody in Wukan was officially ruled as suicide. Both autopsy reports were done by the same person, the center’s deputy, Ren Luobin.
Xue Jinbo’s daughter, Xue Jianwan, said that she did not believe a word of her father’s autopsy report, and that any coroner selected by the authorities cannot be trusted.
Luo Bin was contacted by reporters on Monday, but he merely replied that it was not suitable to be interviewed at this stage and refused to answer any questions.
According to a Radio France Internationale (RFI) report, the Information Office of the authorities in Daxiang District, Shaoyang City, faxed Hong Kong media on June 10 with a statement regarding Li’s death.
The released statement said that the Li Wangyang’s body was to be cremated two days ago, at the request of his relatives. In addition, his ashes were to be buried in the presence of his sister Li Wangling, brother-in-law Zhao Baozhu, and his friends and relatives. However, both Li Wangling and Zhao Baozhu have mysteriously gone missing for two days, with nobody having been able to successfully contact them. Since June 6, many of Li Wangyang’s acquaintances have either gone missing or been placed under house arrest.
According to the RFI report, thus far only the governor of Daxiang District has publicly responded to Li’s death. However, authorities throughout China appear to have been taking action. Local Domestic Security officers have reportedly given verbal warnings to anyone expressing concern over Li’s death.
According to BBC News, the first official to question Li’s death was Dr. York Chow Yat-Ngok, the secretary of the Hong Kong’s Food and Health Bureau. Dr. Chow said Li was severely handicapped, so it would have been difficult for him to commit suicide. Chow also wondered why Li didn’t leave a suicide note, if he had really committed suicide.
Lin Jiancheng, the last reporter to interview Li Wangyang, broke down in tears when he was interviewed by Apple Daily. He never believed that Li would commit suicide, and blamed the interview for possibly leading to Li’s death.
“I am so sad. I have already cried so many times since this morning … I have indirectly caused his death!”
“The way he died, as a Chinese myself, and to have such a government, I am truly depressed!”
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