Relative of Dead Teen Refutes Government's Conclusion

July 7, 2008 Updated: July 7, 2008

CHINA—A relative of the girl, whose death triggered the recent unrest in southwest China, refutes the provincial government's conclusion on the cause of the girl's death.

The Guizhou provincial government held a press conference on July 1, insisting that 15-year-old Li Shufeng committed suicide, and was not raped and murdered. The press also reported that the unrest on June 28 was set off by the local regime's cover up of the girl's death, but classified the public backlash as an attack on the Communist Party and government, which was incited by covert organizations.

The Epoch Times reporter interviewed Li's foster father Xie Xinfa.

Xie indicated in the interview that people found blood stains on Li's underpants.

“This girl was preparing for an exam, why would she commit suicide? We summoned a medical examiner to determine if she committed suicide. When cut open, there was no water in her stomach, but there was a trace on the face and blood in the nose.”

“There was blood on the girl's short pants, which was taken by the police. The blood stains on the pants were cut off by the court.”

In the press conference, Provincial Police Bureau spokesman Wang Xingzheng claimed one of the suspects surnamed Chen is Li's boyfriend. But Xie does not believe this is so.

“Police said these two boys talked to Li about making friends. The fact is Li did not like to make friends. Both she and her brother were good students. Why would she talk about making friends when she did not like to make friends or go out? She was only 15.”

Family Members Locate Body and Evidence

Wang claimed that when the police arrived at the scene, they immediately attempted to recover the body, but it was dark at the time, and recovery conditions were poor. Through persistent tense work, the girl's body was pull up by 3 a.m. But Xie said that, it was Li's uncle Li Xiuzhong who pulled Li's body from the river.

When questioned by the reporter, officials denied that the police beat up and detained the family. Xie said that the police called the family and said Li died from jumping into the river. The family's request for the second autopsy was denied. They decided to look for clues themselves and found tissue and blood.

Family Members Beaten and Threatened

The police tried to have Li's uncle admit that Li was pulled up out of the water by their Criminal Investigation Team. He was beaten up by the Criminal Investigation Team when he refused.

Xie said, “Li's other uncle, mother, and an aunt were summoned for questioning and were also detained. During the detention, they were asked to sign acceptance of the autopsy, but we did not want to sign. The sinister police department beat us up and threatened to kill us if we asked for another autopsy. Less than ten minutes after we talked, the police shouted 'kill him (Li's uncle)!' It's too evil, too sinister.”

Mass Encounter With Police

In the media, police spokesman Wang claimed after repeated effort, on June 26, Li's family agreed to sign an agreement to conclude this matter on June 28. However, by 4 p.m. on June 28, the family gathered approximately 300 people holding banners to protest in Weng'an County Town. Some crowds started to follow the procession, and then more and more people joined. Provoked by a few, some started to attack the police. However, Xie said that the police started the attack first, and then some students attacked back.

Xie narrated the encounter with the police, “Many students donated, and banners were made from many small donations of 30 cents and 50 cents. A large Chinese character, 'Yuan' (meaning injustice and grievance) was written on the banner to demand justice from the police. The police threatened to beat the students. The students felt that they had no alternative but to fight back. The police then lifted gasoline cans and tried to pour the gasoline on the students and burn them, but the students snatched the gasoline cans and poured the gasoline inside the Public Security Bureau station and set the fire.”

Another Autopsy and Beating

According to state run media, Li's body was shipped back to her home town, Yuhua County, on July 1. The next day, several noted medical examiners formed a team to perform an autopsy for a third time. They again concluded that the cause of death was drowning.

On July 1, state-owned media interviewed one of Li's uncles in the hospital. He denied that his confession was extorted, saying he had an “accidental conflict with the police.” He was seriously injured from beatings by six unknown people thereafter.