One week has passed since the tragic death of labour activist Li Wangyang. And with every day that passes, it seems less and less plausible that he committed suicide, as the local authorities have claimed.
Of course, even if his feet were on the ground as he hung from the hospital window; even if there was no suicide note; and even if he could survive more than twenty years of torture and hardship in prison, we still cannot say with absolute certainty that Li did not commit suicide.
But that should not stop us from asking, why did the local authorities cremate his body in such a hurry? If Li Wangyang was not murdered why were his friends prevented from paying their last respects? If Li Wangyang was not murdered why were those calling for an investigation into his alleged suicide placed under house arrest or disappeared? If Li Wangyang was not murdered why did the family’s legal aid lawyer disappear? If Li Wangyang was not murdered why did the Shaoyang authorities threaten and intimidate his family members at the hospital? If Li Wangyang was not murdered why were his grieving relatives placed under house arrest and prevented from talking to the outside world?
Looking at the actions of the local and provincial authorities after the event, the suggestion that Li committed suicide becomes less and less believable.
We call on the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress to establish a special committee to uncover the truth surrounding Li Wangyang’s death, how he was rendered both deaf and blind, and the extent of the torture he endured over two decades in prison.
Only in this way can the dead rest in peace and the living understand.
China Labour Bulletin Director