Chinese Anti-Corruption Leader Murdered
Sometimes I think to myself, “Maybe the Chinese regime isn't all bad. Maybe I have an overly negative view of the situation.” And then China murders another dissident, and helps to keep things brutally clear for me.
This time, there's a special irony involved. Ran Jianxin, an official from Lichuan in Hubei province, once worked to fight local corruption and government land-grabs.
He was accused by the government of accepting bribes. Ran was arrested six months later, on May 26. His accusers were never able to produce evidence to back their charge.
But then, on the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, they beat him to death.
The Shanghaist reports:
“On June 4, during the interrogation of the crime suspect Ran Jianxin, the Badong People's Procuratorate investigators found that the suspect was feeling ill. Ran was sent to the Badong People's Hospital for treatment. At 16:30 that day, the suspect Ran Jianxin expired in spite of attempts to revive him. The cause of death is under investigation. In the mean time, the photos of Ran Jianxin are all over the Internet for everybody to see, and they ask: Do you need an investigation to tell that the man was murdered?”…
With the release of graphic photos of Ran's bruised and bloodied corpse, little doubt was left as to the cause of death.
Although the government is reportedly “investigating,” the people of Linchuan were incensed. They took the streets in numbers that range from 1,500 to 20,000 depending on which reports are to be believed.
The government countered the protests with armed police and a statement asking citizens “maintain general stability of economic development and normal order in their daily lives” and exhorting locals to “trust the government/party, trust the law, distrust rumors, refuse to propagate rumors, [and] refuse to participate in illegal assemblies or engage in various activities that may affect public security and social stability."
Pretty standard Party rhetoric, “What's the big deal, everyone? We just beat one of the only good men in the government to death. Let's not let it get in the way of our economic development.”
The public was not mollified by the government's reassuring words. Just to make their commemoration of the Tienanmen anniversary especially apt, the local government called upon the military to enter Lichuan and “harmonize” the protesters.
Christopher Michael Luna is a Contributing Writer for The Propagandist