Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Detainee Suicided in Custody

A detainee was suicided in custody at Xiaonan Police Station in Kunming, Yunnan Province.

Xing Kun, a small time thief caught wet was detained by the police. Days later, he was found dead in a jail room.

At first, Kunming police was not sure how did he commit suicide under continuous video surveillance. After three days of deliberation, the police decided that Xing died by hanging himself with a shoe tie. In a news conference three days after Xing's death, Kunming police had a story to tell reporters. Xing opened up his handcuffs with a sheet of face tissue, then hanged himself with a shoe tie at a dead spot of the video camera. The police can't explain how did Xing obtain the shoe tie because Xing's own shoe ties were removed when he was taken into custody.

Xing, a small time thief, had been caught and detained by police at least five times. This time he was accused of stealing $100, too low to warrant a court hearing. The maximum he might got would be less than one year of labor camp (different from jail time which must be handed down by a court) under police supervision. It's hard for his family to comprehend the motives of the suicide.

Many Chinese believed Xing was suicided by police, especially after the police refused to let the family take pictures of bruises and wounds found all over his body.

In an earlier incident, a detainee died when playing peek-a-boo with other inmates under custody of Kunming police. The Chinese name of the game 'duomaomao' became a most popular phrase in Chinese.

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