In a sign that Chinese officials are growing increasingly wise to the power of public opinion online, the Yunnan provincial publicity department has invited netizens to join an investigation into the death of Li Qiaoming. The Chinese cybersphere has been abuzz about Li, whom police claim died in a game of ‘eluding the cat’ (躲猫猫) with fellow prisoners. From The Guardian:
Chinese officials have invited internet users to help them investigate a suspicious death in custody after police claims that the man died during a game of hide and seek prompted outrage, the country’s media reported today.
Li Qiaoming died from a brain injury sustained at a detention centre in the south-western province of Yunnan. Police in Puning county claimed he was injured while “eluding the cat” — as the game is known in China — with fellow prisoners.
[...]While many assumed the notice was a spoof, more than 500 applied, and 10 joined the committee in a visit to the scene of the incident today, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported. They include an insurance salesman, a technology worker and an art student.
According to the Southern Metropolis Daily, though netizens initially met the security bureau’s announcement with skepticism, by the end of the day over 500 had responded to the invitation to join the investigative committee. ESWN translates:
Yesterday a public notice was issued by the Yunnan Provincial Publicity Department’s Press and Publication Administration.
“The injury and subsequent death of the Yuxi city Hongta district Beicheng town young man Li Qiaoming in a detention center has received broad media attention, especially on the Internet. The term ‘eluding the cat‘ has become a hot Internet term in a very short time. In order to satisfy the public’s right to know, the Yunnan provincial publicity departhment will form an investigative committee
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