Zhang Huanzhi, 61, hugs a small mound of dirt that holds her son’s ashes. Tears and mucous stream from her face as she cries out in pain: Why us, why our boy, why such injustice?
A few months ago, a state-run newspaper reported that someone else had confessed to the rape and murder for which her son had been executed. For years, few had listened as she insisted that Nie Shubin, 20, had been tortured into a false confession, then convicted after a two-hour trial. The only evidence of any note, she says, was the account of a witness who saw someone near the crime scene riding a blue bicycle. Nie owned a blue bicycle.