Guizhou official: Third finding on rape claim to be made known

2008-07-03 00:54:10 GMT       2008-07-03 08:54:10 (Beijing Time)       China Daily

A policewoman looks through a broken window, July 2, 2008, at the burnt-out Weng'an public security bureau in Guizhou province, which was set ablaze and ransacked by locals on Tuesday. [China Daily]

WENG'AN, Guizhou - Tests on whether a 17-year-old girl was raped will be made known within three days.

Li Shufen committed suicide and her death led to riots in Weng'an on Saturday.

On Wednesday, a team of forensic scientists from the provincial capital Guiyang, conducted a third autopsy on the body of the girl. She was later buried in her hometown about 20 km from Weng'an.

The local government said Li committed suicide by jumping into river because her parents were ill-treating her. But her family claimed Li died while being raped by a group of her friends while on an outing.

"The team will announce the results within three days," Yang Hai, deputy director of the provincial information office told China Daily.

The previous two autopsies showed no signs of Li being raped.

"Our forensic scientists found no signs of a sex attack before Li jumped into the river," Wang Xingzheng, spokesman for the provincial department of public security, said.

A document submitted by the local government stated that Li was unhappy with life because her parents favored her elder brother. She then jumped into the river on June 22.

Her family did not agree, and summoned a group of people to protest outside the government's office building on Saturday.

The protest degenerated into violence in which the buildings of the government and police were attacked.

Residents said the government should have taken quicker action to prevent the violence.

"I don't know whether the girl was raped or not, but the authorities should be responsible for the worsening situation on Saturday," Gu Jun, a farmer, said.

About 80 people found to have committed minor crimes during the riots have so far been released, while 20 are still being detained.

Ni Xingyun, head of the police crime investigation team, said 20 middle school students have admitted burning cars, setting off fireworks and throwing stones.

"We didn't detain them because they admitted their wrongdoing," Ni said. "We are looking for more suspects still at large."

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