Chinese “healer” Hongchi Xiao has been arrested in London at the request of Australian authorities over the 2015 death of a six-year-old diabetic boy who had been treated by Xiao at his workshop with his signature “slapping therapy.”
Back in April 2015, Hongchi Xiao held a week-long workshop in Sydney, costing 1,800 AUD (1,420 USD) to attend, in which he demonstrated various forms of alternative and traditional Chinese medicine, including a technique he invented himself known as “paidalajin” (拍打拉筋) which involves fasting along with stretching and slapping the body to the point of bruising. Xiao has claimed that his therapy has cured a number of various medical conditions including diabetes and hypertension.
An Australian mother brought her diabetic child to the event. Afterward, the six-year-old boy was found unconscious inside a hotel room and later died. Police believe that Xiao encouraged the boy to stop taking his insulin and start fasting.
Following a lengthy investigation, the boy’s mother, father and grandmother were arrested in March and now face the charge of manslaughter for recklessly endangering the boy’s life for subjecting him to Xiao’s treatment, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. If convicted, the three could be sentenced to 25 years in prison.
After being interviewed by the police, Xiao left the country and continued to make money by holding “self-healing” workshops around the globe. “This is purely an accident,” he said about the death last year. “This has nothing to do with the workshop. This boy had a lot of diseases, more than we ever know.”
However, on April 25th, Xiao was arrested by British police and now sits in a London jail. He will likely be extradited to Australia to face a manslaughter charge, but it’s not quite so simple. Xiao has also been linked with the death of a diabetic British grandmother last October and British authorities may decide to prosecute him themselves.
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