Chinese police have released on bail a woman who became an unwilling hero to tens of thousands of compatriots after stabbing to death an official who she said tried to rape her when she rejected his advances.
The state newspaper China Daily said authorities in Badong, Hubei, released Deng Yujiao last night because she had turned herself in after the killing more than two weeks ago.
But today many bloggers speculated that the decision reflected public pressure. Comments on the killing inundated blogs and bulletin boards, and news of the 21-year-old’s release from custody was widely welcomed.
Deng’s case – and its handling by police – has become emblematic of the struggle of ordinary people against abusive officials.
The message was spelled out in a protest at a Beijing university this week in which a gagged female student bound in sheets was shown with a message reading: “Anyone could become a Deng Yujiao.”
Each twist in the investigation has aroused fresh sympathy for Deng, from the claim that the dead man hit her with a wad of cash when she refused to have sex with him to the allegation that police tried to label her mentally ill and that her mother was pressed to fire her lawyers.
Read also: Killing makes Chinese hostess a symbol of discontent from the Reuters:
A Chinese waitress accused of murdering a government official when he tried to assault her has become the latest symbol of public discontent with untrammelled power, drawing a wave of sympathy for the woman.