At 6:24pm on Saturday night a man set off a bomb at Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK). The bomber was the only person injured in the explosion, here is everything we know about him so far.
- Ji Zhongxing (冀中星) was born in Heze, Shandong province, he is 34 years old
- Ji once worked in Guangdong and has been petitioning for more than a decade over alleged abuse he suffered which left him paralysed
- Ji kept a blog (since deleted by Sina, see our mirror) detailing his grievances
- Ji said that prior to his paralysing he was running an unlicensed motorcycle taxi service in Dongguan
- Ji claimed that he was left paralysed after several chengguan beat him in 2005
- In an administrative compensation letter (posted to his blog), Ji requests 334,782 yuan, including the medical fees he has already incurred (14,300 yuan), plus 20 years’ salary
- According to police, the homemade bomb used black explosive powder similar to that found in fireworks
- Before the explosion, Ji was reportedly attempting to hand out leaflets detailing his grievances but was stopped by airport security
- Witnesses say that Ji shouted “I have a bomb, stay away from me” before detonating his device
- The bomb caused a minor explosion, injuring Ji in his arm but causing no harm to anyone else
- Ji was rushed to a local hospital following the explosion
- Reports vary as to the degree of Ji’s injuries, some local media say that his arm had to be amputated
- On Twitter, human rights lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan (who previously represented Ai Weiwei) said he would be “willing to provide legal assistance” for Ji Zhongxing
- Ji’s case has been compared by many to that of Qian Mingqi, who blew three government buildings in Fuzhou in 2011, unlike Ji however, Qian’s bombings led to several deaths
Abridged excerpt from Ji’s blog, translated for Shanghaiist by Lisa Wang:
I came from my hometown in Shandong to Guangdong to work, to earn a bit more since money is tight at home, and used all the money I earned to buy a motorbike to transport passengers.
[On 28th June 2005, I was taking a chef called Gong Tao to his home, and driving down a section of road without traffic lights, I heard the siren of a police car and saw the car coming towards me.]
At the time I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong, and the road was quite narrow so I did not stop and continued driving. When I passed by the Xin Tang Public Security Office, I saw there were seven or eight chengguan blocking the road, holding steel rods and pipes. Just as I was about to brake, a chengguan threw one of the steel pipes across my face, throwing both myself and my passenger on the floor.
When I came to, it was already noon the next day. I was in pain all over, and when I opened my eyes I saw that I was lying on the hospital bed, the passenger I took was also hurt and in hospital. I searched around my pockets and wasn’t missing any money, the only thing that was missing my ID card. When Gong Tao saw that I was conscious, he told me that policemen from Xin Tang Public Security […] refused to let me go and started hitting my legs, feet, waist, striking me furiously with the steel bars. They hit me until I was unconscious, and only took me to hospital when they’d seen the police car that was following me had also arrived onto the scene, and that I was practically dead. After that, they disappeared without a trace.
Because we are farmers, and are poor, no matter who we turn to, nobody wants to help us. And what’s more, when the chengguan found us, they turned around and called us tramps and beat us. If it weren’t for them taking us to hospital on time, I wouldn’t have survived…
We looked to the sky, and the sky looked away; we called to the earth, and the earth did not respond. We have been forsaken but have nobody to turn to, so all I could do was to hold back tears and go back to Shandong. And now I am festering away, paralysed and over 100,000 yuan in debt. Our family have suffered an unimaginable fate. My uncle died when he was young, and soon after so did my mother and grandmother. The only thing that’s keeping me going is the thought of seeking justice.
[Images via Weibo]