Tuesday, March 02, 2010


Cops will be cops, I suppose. How about some prisoners dying in custody...in China. Police said one guy died drinking boiling water. Uh, huh. Well, no one believed that and other stories, complaints were made, some action maybe was taken.


The following is from the China Daily.

Last year, a criminal suspect in Yunnan province reportedly died while playing duo mao mao, or hide-and-seek.
Now another suspect in Henan province was announced dead after allegedly "drinking plain boiled water" in police custody. 

We wonder if local police chiefs can convince themselves that the causes of the mysterious deaths at detention facilities were just. For us common folk, drinking a glass of plain boiled water is, just like playing hide-and-seek, perfectly safe. That is why the official explanation for the death of the Henan suspect has stirred up another round of online ridicule. 

Related readings:Chase out police brutality Three top cops sacked over detention deathChase out police brutality Suspect dies in police detention
Chase out police brutality Detention centers get special guidelines
Criticism is exactly what the authorities deserve - the excuses they have concocted are too porous for anyone with some common sense to believe. What's more, there is evidence of bodily harm on the dead suspect so with or without the whole truth as well as a credible account by the higher authorities, it's easy to tell that torture was involved.

To our great relief, the higher authorities in Henan did not challenge us to test the lethal potentials of plain boiled water. Instead, they shared our suspicion, dismissed the deputy police chief involved, and ordered the chief to resign. And they have promised a thorough and complete investigation. 

With high-profile intervention by higher authorities, the case may be sealed shortly afterward. And chances are most of the questions raised will get an answer. But a more important question is how to prevent this from being repeated in the future. 

We have heard rumors of police officers resorting to torture for confessions. We have seen them corroborate evidence in detention houses. And we have witnessed vows of commitment to eradicate torture, and to so-called "civilized law-enforcement." The latest death in police custody, however, showed something rather barbaric.

This case might be too extreme and thus viewed as an isolated case, but we would rather see authorities not take it that way.

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