Tragedy of ZHAO Wei, murdered by Chinese Railway Authorities-Similarities with Wu’s Case

As this story has been purposely removed from most Chinese news outlets, and has stopped being reported in the international press, I give you the skinny, followed by the translation of the letter submitted by his parents. Shocking and disgusting, there is a plethora of cases similar to this ALL OVER CHINA. At the end I list the similarities with WU Yuren’s case:

 

Facts:

 

*Zhao, 23, a fourth-year student at Hebei University of Technology, boarded the 1301 train from Tianjin bound for Inner Mongolia on January 22, 2011. He sat in Car 12. A classmate and companion sat in Car 11.

*According to Zhao’s classmate, Zhao was taunted by a train attendant over the issue of a seat change. Zhao complained about this matter to the train conductor. *Later that night, Zhao traded seats with someone in Car 11 so that he could sit next to his classmate. He told the classmate it seemed he had somehow gotten on the train conductor’s bad side.

*At around 3 a.m. the railway police came and led Zhao away from Car 11. Zhao’s parents received a call at around 8 a.m. on the morning of January 23, 2011, saying that Zhao had jumped from a building at the Daqing Railway Station and was being treated. Unable to get clear confirmation of the hospital where their son was being treated, the parents went directly to the Daqing Railway Station, where police told them their son had already died.

*Zhao parents asked to see police photographs from the report on the alleged jump — the police said there were none and the crime scene had not been properly secured. The parents asked to see video surveillance footage — they were told the station was not equipped with video surveillance (which apparently is false).

*When family members were finally allowed to view Zhao Wei’s body, they found wounds that apparently could not be explained by his alleged jump from a building.

*All attempts by the Zhao family to petition various government offices in various jurisdictions for further investigation failed.

 

Petition Letter Submitted by Zhao’s Parents:

 

Esteemed Leaders and Friends:

 

We write to you to complain about the incident of the unjust death in the Daqing Train Station in Heilongjiang province of our son Zhao Wei (赵伟), and we plead that you act on our behalf so that this case can be cleared, the criminals brought to justice, and the wrongs against Zhao Wei be redressed.

Zhao Wei was a fourth-year student at Hebei University of Technology. In Tianjin he purchased [a ticket for] seat 045 in Car 12 of the 1301 line from Tianjing to Zalantun [in Inner Mongolia]. One of his classmates was in Car 11.

 

According to this classmate, after they got on the train, because of some issue about changing seats, Zhao Wei was taunted and ridiculed by a train attendant. Zhao Wei made a complaint to the train conductor about this problem. At around 10 o’clock that night, Zhao Wei came into Car 11 with his luggage and said to this classmate that it seemed he had done something to upset the conductor. He then switched seats with the person sitting next to this classmate. At around 3 o’clock in the morning, the railway police came and asked Zhao Wei to come with them.

 

When this classmate next saw Zhao Wei, Zhao Wei’s eyes were already black and blue, and his life was gone.

 

On January 23, 2011, at around 8 o’clock in the morning, we received a telephone call saying that Zhao Wei had jumped out of a window at the Daqing Railway Station and that he was at the hospital being treated. We asked him which hospital? He said the name twice but couldn’t say it clearly. We then hailed a cab and went to the Daqing Railway Station. Police told us that Zhao Wei had jumped from a building and was already dead. (The train arrived on time to Daqing at 6:21am. The coroner determined that [Zhao Wei had] fallen at around 7:20am. Zhao Wei’s train ticket destination was for the city of Zalantun. The time between 3am and 6:21am is lost, and no one knows exactly what happened. Nor does anyone know what happened at the Daqing Railway Station between 6:21am and 7:20am). We asked: How did Zhao Wei get off the train at Daqing? The police said: We don’t know. We asked to see the surveillance camera footage from the train station, but the police told us that the Daqing Railway Station has no surveillance cameras. We then asked to see photographs or video footage from the scene [of Zhao Wei’s death, or alleged jump], but the police said: The scene was not properly secured, and there are no photographs or video. We asked to see Zhao Wei’s body. The police told us now wasn’t the time. At a loss, we waited until the night of the 24th. Some of our relatives came to Daqing. The police drew out and showed us a medical certification from the Oilfields General Hospital [in Daqing], which concluded that Zhao Wei had died as a result of cranial trauma. Only after much back and forth did the police allow us then to go and see Zhao Wei.

Zhao Wei’s body was being kept in the cold storage at Daqing Mortuary. They pulled him out for us to see, and his body was dressed in brand new funeral clothes. There was no sign of the Yishion brand coat and Nike brand pants he had been wearing. (The head of the Daqing Railway Station told us he had paid 2,600 yuan for this set of [funeral] clothing). We saw that Zhao Wei’s right eye was purple, and the cotton in his nostrils was bloody. There were three wounds inside and outside his left ear. There were wounds in two places on his right lower jaw. There was a large purple bruise on his right hip and buttock, and a wound in the middle. There were five wounds on his right groin, and his scrotum had swollen up to the size of a pear. There were many wounds on both hands, and his left wrist bore purplish red marks that suggested he had been handcuffed. Could so many wounds possibly have come from jumping from a building? Moreover, there were streaks of blood on the coat, pants and shoes Zhao Wei left behind. Could these too have come from a jump?

 

We asked that a medical examiner look into the cause of Zhao Wei’s death. The police said we would have to find a medical examiner ourselves. At a loss, we demanded to file a petition. Only then did the police carry out an autopsy on January 26, and the results left us even more shocked. Aside from Zhao Wei’s external wounds and cranial trauma, there were fatal injuries to Zhao Wei’s internal organs as well. But the autopsy report (刑事技术鉴定书) made no mention of the swelling of Zhao Wei’s scrotum, and we don’t know whether this was an omission or something intentionally left out. There were wounds in so many areas, scars on different parts [of his body], and still this autopsy report determined Zhao Wei died as a result of a fall from a height that resulted in a massive subarachnoid hemorrhage, and a brain hernia that caused massive craniocerebral trauma and death.

 

We must ask: this nation, a country which [dedicates itself to] creating a harmonious society, and which [pledges itself] to protecting the lives and the property of the masses — how can it not even protect the safety of life and property of an undergraduate student making his way home for the new year? A human being dies without anyone understanding why. And no one cares.

 

We must also ask: Zhao Wei was an excellent university student, and very intelligent. How was it that he got off the train only halfway through his journey? Why is it that there are surveillance cameras at the Daqing Railway Station, and [the police] say there are not? How is it that the Railway Police claim that they cannot protect the scene of [an alleged] jump from a building within their own jurisdiction? How could photos or video not be taken of the scene of the [alleged] jump from a building? Why were Zhao Wei’s bloody clothes exchanged for new ones before his relatives arrived?

 

What in heaven’s name are the Daqing Railway Police and the Daqing railway authorities up to? We called the criminal vice squad of the Daqing Police and they said there was nothing they could do. This was the territory of the railway police. The railway authorities in [the city of] Harbin said this would be referred back to [authorities in] Daqing. And for their part, [the authorities] in Daqing have left a hundred questions unanswered.

 

If we cannot get to the bottom of Zhao Wei’s death, there is the risk that the same kind of thing could happen to a Qian Wei, a Sun Wei or a Li Wei.

 

We ask that anyone from any corner of our society with a conscience, that they extend a hand. We ask that relevant departments be able to open up an investigation into Zhao Wei’s death, exposing the circumstances of his tragedy before all. Deal with the murderers, return justice to this harmonious society, and hand justice back to this simple peasant couple who raised Zhao Wei all these 23 years. Let Zhao Wei pass in peace.

 

Signed, The Aggrieved

 

Zhao Wei’s father, Zhao Tingfu (赵庭富)

Zhao Wei’s mother, Tian Jingrong (田井荣)January 27, 2011

What similarities to Wu’s and others’ cases:

 

1. Lack of factual information presented to family, also allowing for unbiased investigations;

2. Obvious cover up by authorities;

3. Beating/injuries denied;

4. Lack of surveillance camera evidence, or the willingness to show it;

5. Deletion or refusal to allow the story to be covered in local/national media.

 

Makes me so sad this shit that happens ALL THE TIME here and NO ONE cares.

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