*Graphic warning* Chinese college student might have been beaten to death on his train home
Even though the incident took place in late January, it didn’t draw public attention until last week.
(If you are prepared, click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pictures.)
Jing’s note: placing copper cash into the mouth of the deceased is a Chinese social custom based on the superstition that the deceased would go down to the nether world and that the money is to tip ghosts there in exchange for better treatment.
Below is a translation of a letter written in the name of the victim’s parents.
Dear cadres and friends,
We are appealing to you about our son, Zhao Wei, who was victimized to death at the railway station of Daqing, Heilongjiang Province. We implore that you back us up, investigate into the case, punish the criminals and redress for the injustice for Zhao Wei.
Zhao Wei is a senior student at Hebei University of Technology. He bought Seat No.45 on Car 12 of Train No. 1301 departing from Tianjin for Zalantun, Innor Mongolia on January 22, 2011. He also had a classmate in Car 11.
According to this classmate of his, after getting onto the train, Zhao Wei was scoffed at and ridiculed by a train attendant because of a seat-changing issue. Zhao made this issue known to the train conductor. At 10 p.m. or so, Wei Zhao brought his backpack to Car 11 and told this classmate that he might have offended the conductor. Then he changed seats with a passenger who sat next to this classmate. At around 3 a.m., Zhao was called away by the conductor. When the classmate next saw Zhao Wei, his eyes were black and blue, and he was no longer alive.
At about 8 a.m. on January 23, we received a phone call, saying that Zhao Wei jumped off Daiqing’s train station building and was admitted to ICU. We asked him which hospital he was at, he did not state the name clearly even after saying it twice. So we hailed a taxi cab and arrived at the train station of Daqing. The police told us that Zhao Wei had died from jumping off the building. (The train arrived in Daqing train station at 6:21. the forensic determined that the jumping took place at around 7:20 a.m. Zhao Wei’s destination on his ticket was Zalantun City. He disappeared from 3:00 a.m. to 6:21. No one knew what happened. Neither did anyone know what happened in Daqing Railway Station between 6:21 to 7:20.) We asked, “Why did Zhao Wei got off the train in Daqing?” Police said, “We don’t know.” We requested to see the surveillance video recorded at the train station. The police told us that there is no surveillance camera installed at the Daqing Railway Station. We also request to see death scene photos and video. The police said, scene protection was not good; no picture or video was taken. We asked to see Zhao Wei. The police said “not now.” Helpless, we waited until the evening of the 24th. Our family relatives arrived in Daqing. The police showed us the diagnosis offered by Daqing Oil Field General Hospital, which says Zhao Wei’s death was caused by traumatic brain injury. Only after negotiations did the police lead us to see Zhao Wei.
Zhao Wei was placed in a morgue refrigerator in Daqing Funeral Home. When his body was pulled out, we saw he was dressed in new clothing. His down coat and Nike trousers were gone. We saw Zhao Wei’s right eye was livid. The cotton balls in his two nostrils were stained with blood. There were three scars on the inside and outside of his right ear. The right lower jaw had two scars. His right buttock has black-and-blue marks all over and bruises in the middle. The right groin had five wounds. His scrotum was swollen and looked like a frozen pear. Hands had multiple injuries, including purple marks likely left by a handcuff on the left hand. Can jump off the building cause so many injuries? Furthermore, the down coat, trousers and shoes left by Zhao Wei has blood stains all over them. Can all these be caused by the jump too?
We demanded that a legal medical expert determine the cause of Zhao Wei’s death. The police asked us to look for a legal medical doctor by ourselves. We were very helpless and requested to appeal for help. Then the police performed an autopsy on Zhao Wei on January 26. The result was even more astounding to us, in addition to injuries on the surface and the fatal brain trauma, there was fatal visceral injury. But the autopsy report did not mention the scrotal swelling that Zhao Wei sustained. I do not know if it is an oversight or a deliberate omission. Formation of so many wounds in different body parts were just attributed to Zhao Wei’s falling from height, which resulted in extensive subarachnoid hemorrhage and brain herniation that caused traumatic brain injury and his death.
We can’t refrain from asking, the country should be one that creates harmonious society, and further more, one that protects the people’s lives and property. How can the mission of guarding safety of the people’s life and property be gone for an undergraduate student on his way home for the Chinese New Year? He died mysteriously, and no one cared.
We also wish to ask, Zhao Wei was a good college student of decent intelligence. He purchased a through ticket. Why did he get off the train halfway? Why they said there is no surveillance system at Daqing Railway Station when there actually is one? Why the railway police couldn’t protect the scene well in their own jurisdiction? Why couldn’t they take photos or video of the scene? Why did they change his bloody clothes into new ones even before the family arrived?
What on earth are Daqing’s railway police and railway system up to? We called Daqing’s criminal justice squad to report the case, they said it wasn’t their business. It should be taken care of by the railway police. Harbin Railway Bureau said Daqing has jurisdiction over the matter. However, the parties in Daqing were so faulty.
If (the cause of) Zhao Wei’s death cannot come to light, in the future, perhaps more people would be killed by this scourge.
We seek help from kind-hearted people in all sectors of society. We request the relevant departments to investigate Zhao Wei’s tragic death and make Zhao Wei’s grievances known to all. Punish the murderer; return justice to China’s harmonious society as well as the peasant couple who had been raising Zhao Wei for 23 years. Let Zhao Wei rest in peace without everlasting regret.
Appealers: Zhao Wei’s father Zhao Tingfu (赵庭富)
Zhao Wei’s mother Tian Shengrong (田升荣)
January 2, 2011