Probe into death of prisoner playing hide and seek

February 20th, 2009 - 12:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Kunming (China), Feb 20 (Xinhua) The death of a prisoner while playing a game of hide-and-seek in China’s Yunnan province was being probed by a 15-member investigation team that includes five netizens.
Li Qiaoming, 24, a resident of Yuxi City, was taken into custody in Jinning Jan 30 for cutting trees without authorisation. He was hospitalised Feb 8 and died four days later from severe brain injuries.

According to the Jinning public security bureau, Li was fatally injured while playing hide-and-seek with other inmates, one of whom supposedly reacted angrily when his hiding-place was found by Li. According to the bureau, Li was pushed and struck a wall as he fell.

Li’s parents and many netizens said they found the official account hard to believe. A story about the incident appeared in a local newspaper in the provincial capital of Kunming Feb 13.

“I’ve never heard of such a funny joke,” said Liu Yun, a netizen from Kunming, on the forum.

A 15-member commission with five netizens, three reporters, four public security and prosecutors’ staff, two company employees and a college student, went to the Jinning Detention House Friday.

Fengzhimoduan and Bianmin, two well-known blog writers in Yunnan, were director and deputy director of the commission.

The Yunnan Provincial Publicity Department posted a notice on major Yunnan-based websites Thursday afternoon, seeking people to join in the investigation. More than 510 people called or applied online.

“It’s the first time in Yunnan, and even in China, to ask netizens to participate in an investigation,” said Gong Gei, a provincial publicity department official.

“We don’t have a conclusion. We invite the netizens to go to the scene and make their own judgement,” he said.

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