The death of Dai Haijing, a 30-year-old school teacher, caused a big uproar last week in Tangxia township in Ruian, Zhejiang province – specifically, public disbelief of the official police ruling that she committed suicide. At least 10,000 people (some estimates put it at 30,000) including Dai’s family members and students, gathered outside the city government building (above) to protest the police’s handling of the matter, prompting the dispatching of “at least” 700 riot police to control the scene (below). Police made arrests and beat some protesters, although there were no casualties, according to reports.
Here is an account of how it all got started, translated from Ta Kung Pao on the blog EastSouthWestNorth, which includes more photos of the incident:
According to Hong Kong newspaper reports, information from Ruian city (Wenzhou), 30-year-old female teacher Dai Haijing fell out of her apartment to her death on August 18. The police said that she committed suicide, but the residents believed that it was related to her husband. Furthermore, they believed that someone paid off the authorities. Therefore, they demanded a government investigation.
The death of Dai Haijing drew the attention of the media and netizens. According to earlier reports, her husband named Xie is a rich and powerful person in the area, running one of the top ten enterprises there. Xie is the general manager of a well-known company.
The younger sister of the diseased (sic) found a diary in which Dai Haijing recorded how she was violently abused by her husband. Dai and Sie were high school classmates. They were married in year 2000, with the opposition of the family.
After Dai died, the teachers and students of the school set up an Internet memorial site. Then several thousand students marched in the streets slowly to demonstrate, which caused great unease at the Ruian municipal government.
According to reports, the police insists that it was a suicide. On the day before yesterday, the people started a petition signature drive. They assembled to demand the government re-open the investigation. The authorities sent out a large number of armed police and there was a clash. The police used batons and tear gas to disperse the crowd and arrested the demonstration leaders.
As many people were arrested and injured, this led to even greater civilian anger. Yesterday, several thousand people assembled in front of the city government building to march and petition. Some people put up banners about business-government colluion (sic) that ignore the life of a citizen. The authorities sent out several hundred fully-armed militia police. The demonstrators then turned to go to the factory managed by the deceased’s husband and wreck havoc. Many vehicles were vandalized.
ESWN has plenty more pictures of the scene, including images of broken windows and overturned cars. Danwei tells us that video of the clearly peaceful demonstration is availabe here on YouTube and some more panicked footage here (and here and a memorial video here with still pictures interposed with slides saying things like “we don’t believe”) from later on, after the police came out. The footage is indistinct, but there are clearly two policemen visible in the second clip beating a third person lying motionless on the ground.
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