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Authorities Find Scapegoat to Blame For the Death of a Sixteen-Year-Old

The mysterious death of a 16-year-old waitress in a hotel is believed to implicate local communist government officials. the incident enraged the local residents and eventually escalated into a riot.

On January 16, 2007, following the news of the death of 16-year-old former hotel waitress Yang Daili, more than 10,000 angry civilians flocked to the Lai Shi De Hotel in Zhuyang Town, Dazhu County, Dazhou City, Sichuan Province, to call for the arrest of the three suspects who are high-ranking Party officials in Sichuan.

Civilians Protest the Death of 16-Year-Old

By afternoon, as the situation grew beyond control, local authorities dispatched large contingents of policemen to suppress the angry civilians. According to witnesses, besides being beaten up and threatened by the policemen, numerous civilians were also arrested, including local students and children. An infuriated resident then set a fire in the hotel, which lasted for the next five hours.

An agitated worker at the Lai Shi De Hotel revealed: "It is a known fact that Yang Daili was gang-raped by the three officials who visited the hotel on December 29. We have witnesses and material evidence to prove this. That is why we are so angry. To make matters worse, the local authorities have done all they can to cover up the incident and destroy all the evidence. Many websites and forums where we have posted related news have started censoring our voices.

"Moreover, I’ve heard that Yang’s family has also come under surveillance by the authorities. I wonder how things will turn out."

According to a worker at the Zhuyang Town Police Station who wishes to remain anonymous, "More than 10,000 civilians have come to protest over the past two days. Many police officers have already been beaten up.

"After the incident, Party officials from the provincial Public Security Bureau, the Provincial Party Council, and the Municipal Party Council all met together. I heard that the central government has also caught wind of this. So far, they have settled it by arresting the bartender of the hotel, Liu Zhikun."

The anonymous worker also revealed that the hotel is run by Xu Feng, son of the chief of the local West District police station.

Yang Wanted to Quit Her Job

Yang Daili, 16, was from Luojia Village, Dazhu Town, Sichuan Province. After graduating from middle school, she decided to start working, and on December 1 she formally began her employment at the Lai Shi De as a waitress. Yang’s father, Yang Wanguo, revealed: "On December 20, she told her mother that she was not going to work at the hotel anymore after collecting this month’s salary. She said that there were a lot of unusual management practices going on in the hotel and that there were a lot of drug addicts."{mospagebreak}

On December 29, three high-ranking Party officials in Sichuan Province came to Lai Shi De. They spotted Yang Daili immediately, named her as their waitress, and wanted to take her out. The next day, Ms. Yang was found lying in one of the hotel rooms. A worker at the Lai Shi De found that she had been drugged, a tooth was missing, her tongue was cut, and a nipple had been sliced.

Local Authorities Cloud Her Autopsy Results

Yang Wanguo continued, "The hospital gave me a report saying that she had died before arriving at the hospital. Even though the Public Security Bureau sent someone to perform the autopsy the same day afternoon, I have yet to receive a report. I checked her body in the hospital and saw no signs of injury except for some blood in her mouth. Later, in the autopsy, they said that they found some marks on her neck and back, as well as some blood in her genital area. The county government told me out of nowhere that my daughter had been raped before she died.

"The next day, however, I sensed something had changed. Initially they told me that there were four needle holes on her arms, but when the Provincial Judicial performed a second autopsy the next day, they told me that the four needle holes were fake. And as of today, I haven’t seen any report on her being raped. They’ve got us all confused."

"Liu Is Not The Culprit"

A local state-run media proclaimed the next day that the "collective mass event" had been basically settled and that "the hotel bartender, Liu Zhikun, the prime suspect in this rape-and-murder incident, had been arrested."

However, Ms. Yang’s family feels that Liu could not be behind the murder. A source pointed out: "They simply refused to do anything for 10 days after the girl’s death. Only after the civilians got all worked up and set a fire in the hotel did they finally, and very suddenly, arrest a suspect. Weren’t there three officials who raped the girl? What has it got to do with the bartender?"

Moreover, another anonymous source said: "An emergency meeting was held at 4:00 a.m. on January 18. It was the bartender who found the girl, so they decided that he was the best scapegoat. Every civilian knows that it is definitely not the bartender. The guilty ones are the three officials."

Indeed, the Internet community is far from satisfied with the result. An anonymous post was found on the Net: "I’ve heard that there are people in the county Party council involved, and there are quite a number of people in the provincial government backing it up."

Hundreds of other angry posts have emerged: "The officials all ganged up with each other," "Chinese law is no longer the law of the people, it is the law of the government," "Corruption! Even when they commit a crime, they can make use of all their power to cover themselves up," "To think that the Provincial Party Secretary Wang Wei proclaimed that Yang Daili’s death is just ‘the size of a butthole!’" "What kind of world is this! The powerless civilians are worthless in the eyes of those officials!"

Can Sun is a correspondent for Chinascope.