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Sichuan Professor Fell to Death, in Protest of Forced Demolitions

Tuo Jiguang, a professor at Sichuan Normal University, fell from a campus building around 8 o’clock on the morning of Monday January 18 2021. His friends said that Tuo, after experiencing 10 years of forced eviction and different forms of suppression, finally chose to fight with death.

Professor Tuo Jiguang was a doctor of literature, a postdoc in journalism and communication, and a postdoc in law. Before teaching at Sichuan Normal University, Tuo worked as a reporter and editor at the two largest local newspapers, West China Metropolis Daily and Chengdu Economic Daily.

In October 2020, Tuo Jiguang, filed a public complaint against Pu Fayou, head of Chengdu’s Chenghua District, for abusing power and violently demolishing citizens’ legally owned property. Tuo mentioned in the complaint letter that, since 2011, his two residences in Chenghua District had been subjected to the immediate danger of demolition. During the process, the demolition staff resorted to a number of means such as threats, pressure from his workplace and online defamation to force him into an agreement. “But the family finally withstood the pressure and did not succumb.” In the end, Pu Fayou presided over an executive meeting of the district government and ordered the two houses to undergo “violent demolition.”

Mr. Chen, one of Tuo’s friends, told Radio Free Asia that the reason for his suicide was because the Chenghua District government demolished his two houses. These two houses were his legal residences. He has been defending his rights since 2011. Mr. Chen also pointed out that even with dual post-doctoral degrees and qualifications as a lawyer and journalist, under the suppression of government agencies, social elites like Tuo Jiguang can only be forced to fight with death.

In 2009, Li Chuncheng, then head of Chinese Communist Party committee of Chengdu city, carried out massive demolition and triggered intense government-civilian confrontation. A woman named Tang Fu-zhen burned herself to death in protest of the forced demolition, drawing widespread attention. Tuo is another tragic case of human death due to “forced demolitions” which are rampant across China.

Source: Radio Free Asia, January 18, 2021