Archive for June 22nd, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

Riots in Shizhou City, Hubei Province

Update: The correct spelling of the city should be Shishou.

Tu Yuangao (涂远高), aged 24, worked as a chef at Yonglong Hotel (永隆大酒店) in Shishou City (石首市), Hubei Province. He was found dead in front of the hotel at 20:36 on June 17. According to initial forensic examination, no fatal injuries were detected. However, police found a testament in his flat which expressed “world-weariness”, reports Xinmin Evening News.

Police therefore initially determined that Tu had killed himself, and ruled out homicide. Police was in touch with Tu’s relatives and urged an autopsy, which was refused by his relatives, writes Xinmin Evening News. A crowd of people who didn’t know the facts assembled on Dongyueshan Road (东岳山路) and Dongfang Road (东方大道), set up roadblocks, obstructed traffic, while onlookers were jeering. According to reports quoted by Xinmin Evening News, the number of people was between one- to tens of thousands, and thousands of armed police were sent to Shizhou City from several places in Hubei Province. From the morning into the night of June 20, several clashes were reported, leaving several police people injured and several fire brigade and police vehicles damaged. According to Xinmin Evening News, the situation is now back to normal, while investigations on Tu’s cause of death continue.

The first page of the report currently shows pictures and video footage.

Riots triggered by distrust in official findings or decisions have happened in hinterland provinces several times in recent years, such as in Longnan in November last year, and over the death of a teenage girl in Wengan County, Guizhou Province, in June last year.

The Earth Times carries a different take on the events in Shizhou City. According to Earth Time’s report, Tu’s father demanded an investigation, while police insisted that Tu had committed suicide.

%d bloggers like this: