Beijing — Two police officers in a detention center in Rushan of East China’s Shandong province have been suspended from duty after an inmate in the center was found dead with “needle injuries”, local authorities said on Sunday.
The public security bureau in Weihai, which has jurisdiction over Rushan, confirmed that the head of the detention center and a policeman on duty, who were suspected of being responsible for the incident, are under investigation.
Yu Weiping, the detainee, was found dead by other inmates on Nov 13, 2009, three months after he was put into the center.
An investigation team comprised of officials from the Weihai municipal procuratorate and anti-prison abuse authorities have spent months on the investigation without a conclusion.
Wang Peiting, the Communist Party chief of Weihai, on Saturday urged legal authorities to investigate the case in an open manner. Experts from the Shandong provincial public security bureau will take part in the inquiry.
Yu was a co-owner of a dancing club before he was arrested. In August last year. A fight in Yu’s club resulted in a death and Yu was detained as a suspect.
Yu Hongzhi, Yu’s 70-year-old father, was told last year that his son died in the detention house, without being given any reason, the Beijing News reported.
“He is my only son and I felt like everything was collapsing,” said Yu Hongzhi, who later found a hole in the chest of his son’s body.
“The police then told us there was a pimple and the hole appeared after they cleaned the pimple,” Yu Zhongzhi said.
However, Yu Hongzhi did not believe the explanation, and insisted on watching the video of the detention and an autopsy for his son.
“There was 30 seconds of the video missing. My son was normal before the 30 seconds, but he acted like he was in great pain after the 30 seconds, as if someone had done something to him. The video showed nobody in the detention house being concerned about his pain,” Yu Hongzhi said.
On March 17, an autopsy report by the State Forensic Medicine Service under the Ministry of Justice showed that Yu’s heart had fatal injuries caused by a needle-like instrument.
“I want to know who used a needle-like instrument and stabbed it into my son’s heart,” said Yu Hongzhi. “My son was very healthy and had no psychological problems, so I don’t see any reason he would kill himself. Even if he did, he wouldn’t choose such a method.”
This incident is yet another unnatural death in a detention house after a series of such bizarre deaths since last year sparked nationwide discussion about inmates’ human rights and the proper management of detention houses.
Most recently, Xue Hongfu, 55, was found dead by his roommate on April 7 in a 0.25-square-meter basin in the yard of a detention center of Gong’an county, Jingzhou in Central China’s Hubei province.
A joint investigation team of the provincial police, forensic experts and judicial authorities later ruled Xue’s drowning was an act of suicide.
There were also several other inmates who died — according to police explanations — in unnatural ways, such as knocking their heads into walls while playing hide and seek, falling over while going to the toilet or drinking boiled water while being interrogated.
“Recently, unnatural deaths happened in succession in certain places. It has seriously harmed the public’s confidence in law enforcement by police authorities,” Meng Jianzhu, minister of public security, said late last month, urging more efforts be paid to prevent such cases.