Shanghaiist reports a clash between police and mourners at the funeral of a man killed while defending his sister—or who, according to a police account, “died suddenly when arguing with others.” Hang Hongqi’s four alleged assailants were reportedly part of a larger group which some local residents say was attempting to intimidate potential voters in a looming district election.
He had been beaten to death on Wednesday after he intervened to save his sister, who was being attacked in her home by four migrant workers. The migrants had been hired by the Jiangqiao Town Post Office, and had been going from door-to-door to the homes of different residents, asking each homeowner to sign a pledge that they would abstain from voting in a local election of deputies for the Jiading district congress.
After Hang’s sister Hang Yuexiang refused to sign the slip that declared her abstention from voting, the four men began attacking her, kicking her to the ground and scratching at her hair. Hang then came to his sister’s rescue, only for the men’s focus to turn towards him, while fighting off any of Hang’s neighbors who tried to help ….
On Thursday, several of the mourners were taken away by police, with Hang’s father, sister, and brother-in-law eventually becoming prisoners in their own homes (along with seven other neighbors), thanks to a contingency of 50 policemen outside of Hang’s home.
According to the Eastday article, the residents involved in the conflict believe they were targeted by the gang after refusing to vote for any district officials, “because they were not satisfied with their handling of housing quality problems.” Some residents had protested in the street to demand justice.