RFA Exclusive Interview with the Wife of Jiang Guangge, a Victim of the Shanwei Shootings

By Ding Xiao, Radio Free Asia
January 18, 2006 Updated: January 18, 2006

Since the shooting of unarmed villagers by police in Dongzhou village, Shanwei City, authorities in Guangdong province have strictly controlled the flow of information out of the village.

Recently, a reporter successfully interviewed the wife of Jiang Guangge, who was the first to be killed in this incident and one of the victims whose deaths have been officially recognized. She said that few people dared to contact her since her husband's death.

Recently she heard of the official claim that Jiang Guangge was killed because he was carrying a bomb detonator to the scene. She said that Jiang had been wronged. However, she harbors no hope of receiving justice.

Reporter: “Are you a family member of Jiang Guangge?”

Jiang Guangge's wife: “Yes.”

Reporter: “I'd like to ask you if you are still being watched by the police.”

Jiang's wife: “No.”

Reporter: “In the end, how much compensation did you receive?”

Jiang's wife: “500,000 yuan (approximately US$61,961.50).”

Reporter: “Now are you going to investigate the legal responsibility?”

Jiang's wife: “I will not; what are we going to legally pursue? They gave us a small compensation, I do not have the capability, and I am illiterate; who do we ask to investigate those responsible for us? My children are still young.”

Reporter: “What is the official attitude? For example, have they given an apology?”

Jiang's wife: “No.”

Reporter: “What did they say when they gave you the money?”

Jiang's wife: “They said Guangge was guilty of a minor crime. My dear Guangge was an honest man in nature. At 8 p.m. that night, he followed others to go there and he did not take anything with him. Within half an hour, he was shot to death. Today I heard from others that the officials say Guangge carried a detonator there. This is how they framed him.”

Reporter: “You took back his body the night of the incident, is that true?”

Jiang's wife: “Yes. While I was with Guangge's body, there was also other person in the hospital. Both [Guangge and that person] were dead at the scene. There had been another one who is now asking for compensation with us, three people in total.”

Reporter: “So the three of them were seen at the scene by others?”

Jiang's wife: “Yes”.

Reporter: “How many times was he shot?”

Jiang's wife: “I do not know how many shots. When I went to see him, his face and head were covered with blood, I could not see clearly.”

Reporter: “Are you feeling better now?”

Jiang's wife: “My mood is not good. Nobody from my family has come yet, and it is almost the Chinese New Year. But now I should not go to the homes of other people who had seen Guangge, I do not dare to go. I just stayed home with my children. Now nobody speaks to me, I cry and shed tears whenever I want to, so that is it.”

Reporter: “You only have your children with you at home, right?”

Jiang's wife: “I have three children, the oldest is a 10-year-old daughter, the second is a 9-year-old, and the youngest is a six-year-old son. I live at the foot of a mountain, now is the night time, I am afraid, the children are also afraid. Because their father died and the children do not know why they have become scared every night.”

Reporter: “Then how do you explain to your children their father's death?”

Jiang's wife: “I do not know how to tell them. How could he be shot if he was honest? December 6th is Guangge's lunar birthday; I did not know it was his birthday. If I had known, I would not have let him go and he would not have died. He did not even leave me a word when he died, he did not close his eyes in death.”

Reporter: “Will the children be mentally affected?”

Jiang's wife: “Children do not understand. They only ask why their father has not returned for so long. I am not accustomed to dealing with these things. I told them your father would not come back.”

Reporter: “Now do you need any help?”

Jiang's wife: “I do not need any help. If I needed help to deal with the officials, nobody could help me anyway. They may even be making arrests now! It is so unjust. The small amount of compensation has been saved in the bank, but doesn't the bank belong to the government? I am afraid, would they take back that money sometime later? If that happens, how would my children and I survive?”

(Organized based on the original RFA recording)