The Ministry of Public Security has started a three-month campaign against prisoner abuse, after numerous suspicious deaths of suspects and prisoners within police custody in recent months – including the death of 19-year-old Xu Gengrong, who had been in detention for eight days on suspicion of murdering his former girlfriend.
His post-mortem examination found that he had been starved, his nose clogged with blood and his head covered with bruises. A build-up of fluid in his brain was probably what caused him to become suddenly “short of breath and his pulse weakened,” according to local authorities.
According to the AP:
The campaign aims to eliminate misuse of authority and boost awareness of the law and human rights, according to a Tuesday notice on the Web site of the ministry, which oversees the police.
Inspections and investigations will be carried out after the campaign to determine if problems have been corrected, it said.
“We request every detention department at all levels to focus on strengthening their ideology … their professional ethics, as well as their work style and anti-corruption awareness,” it said.
The notice went on to mention the death of Li Qiaoming in Yunnan, made famous when police officers alleged that he had accidentally passed away when he ran into a wall blindfolded while playing a game of “eluding the cat.”
Netizen outrage over the “official explanation” prompted a controversial re-investigation into the matter. Government channels finally confirmed in early March that Li had been assaulted by other prisoners.
Previously on Shanghaiist:
Skepticism follows Yunnan prison death’s citizen investigation
Student starts fight with six policemen in Harbin, gets beaten to death
The mysterious deathbed confession of the Kunming bomber
More information from the web:
Chinese teenagers die in jail from ‘routine’ police torture [Times UK]
Police to battle prisoner abuse [Shanghai Daily]
China to investigate prison abuse [BBC]
Image from the BBC