13 people held for protesting mystery death in China

Beijing, May 23 (IANS/EFE) Thirteen people were arrested after taking part in a protest demanding transparency in the investigation of the mysterious death of a 22-year-old woman near a Beijing market, Chinese police said Wednesday.

The circumstances surrounding her death, which authorities attribute to suicide but which the deceased’s friends and family are calling a rape-murder, had hundreds of people demonstrating in the streets near the market to demand a “fair” investigation.

One of those in custody is the dead woman’s boyfriend, accused of “spreading rumours on the Internet”, the official news agency Xinhua said.

Others under arrest are natives of the young woman’s home village in the southern province of Anhui.

“After the autopsy, we can confirm that the young woman committed suicide by jumping from the building,” the Beijing Public Safety Department said earlier this month, going on to rule out the possibility that the deceased woman was raped or murdered.

Complaints about the hurried investigation into the death brought hundreds of people, mostly migrants from Anhui, into the streets around the market May 8, something so exceptional in the Chinese capital that security forces and even the army rushed to deal with it.

Members of the public suspect that the woman was kidnapped by market security guards, possibly raped and then thrown from one of the building’s windows.

–IANS/EFE

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