The death of 22-year-old Yuan Liya, who fell from the Jingwen shopping center on May 3, has been deemed a suicide by the Beijing police. In disbelief, hundreds protested last week calling for the surveillance footage of Yuan’s final moments to be released. But even that has not quieted doubts that Yuan took her own life. Prior to the release of the footage, a 28-year-old woman was arrested for spreading a rumor that Yuan was gang-raped by security guards, which spread on Weibo. The official site of Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau announced that it had been proved that the girl from Anhui had “committed suicide” and “the family offers no disagreement.”
In response to the official verdict, seasoned blogger @琢磨先生 started a “non-suicide vow” campaign on Weibo:
@琢磨先生: [Non-Suicide Vow] I am Mr. Zhuomo. I will never commit suicide. If I should die in any type of accident, it is homicide, and the police should investigate thoroughly. Please repost this and make your own vow, lest you are “suicided.”
As of May 13 at 5:15 p.m. EST, this weibo has been reposted 33,103 times and received 11,653 comments. There is also a Non-Suicide Vow Weibo discussion page.
Through these vows, netizens are trying to prevent being “suicided”–having their murder written off as suicide by the authorities.
This is not the first time such pledges have appeared. Activist Li Wangyang was found hanging in his hospital room last year. 20 years in jail took a severe toll on Li’s health, but those close to him doubted the official ruling of his death as a suicide. After Li’s death, activists including the likes of Hu Jia and Wang Lihong declared that they would never commit suicide, no matter what situation they found themselves in.
CDT Chinese has collected a number of vows:
@鸟人与鱼: I am Birdman-and-fish (鸟人与鱼). I will never commit suicide. If I should die in any type of accident, it is homicide, and the police should investigate thoroughly. Please repost this and make your own vow, lest you are “suicided.” @琢磨先生
@天使向莉: I am Xiangli. I promise that I will never commit suicide. I am outgoing and positive. My regular activities, such as buying soy sauce, taking cold showers, and doing sit-ups, would not cause my death. I have signed a power of attorney (POA) with Attorney Liang Xiaojun (@梁小军律师) and Attorney Chen Jiangang (@律师陈建刚). From the date of signing the POA, no one, including myself, my family, and other relevant and non-relevant persons, has the right to terminate the agreement.
我是向莉，我在此承诺，我绝不会自杀。本人性格开朗，积极向上，打酱油凉水澡仰卧起坐等常规项目均不至于致命。本人已签写委托函至@梁小军律师 @律师陈建刚 处，自函签订之日起，本人及家人及相关、无关人等，均无权更换、解聘律师。
@折腾画笔: #nonsuicidevow Though I occasionally feel depressed, I promise I will never cut off my future by committing suicide. I have no tangled romances, and no tendency towards world-weariness. I am striving to learn traditional arts from all across China. Hang gliding, parachuting, riding a hot air balloon, deep-sea diving, and traversing Siberia are all on my list. I also want to circumnavigate the globe. I absolutely love life.
@周泽律师: I just reposted the following two blogs. @无敌破壊王 promises he will never commit suicide and says, “If I should die in any type of ‘accident,’ it is homicide, and the police should investigate thoroughly;” @天使向莉 promises she would “never commit suicide,” and has signed a POA. What do they mean? We need to seriously discuss this topic: If they really did do that [commit suicide], would these vows and POAs have effect?
【不自杀承诺】刚转发两条的微博中，@无敌破壊王 承诺不会自杀，表示“将来如果我出任何意外，都是他杀，请警方务必彻查”；@天使向莉 也承诺“绝不会自杀”，还向律师出具了委托书。这到底怎么回事呢？严肃探讨：如果他们真那个了，这承诺及委托有效吗？
@徐子林不加V: I am Xu Zilin. I will never commit suicide. If I die in some unexpected way some day, it is homicide. The police should launch a thorough investigation. Please don’t say I have committed suicide. To those who are like me, please publish your own “non-suicide vows” preemptively and declare them to the world, lest you are suicided.
@白眼狮子大老爷: [Non-Suicide Vow] I am Master White-Eyed Lion (白眼狮子大老爷). I solemnly swear that I will never commit suicide. If one day I disappear, swallow poison, jump off a building, drown in the ocean, or do anything else unexpected, it is homicide, and the police should investigate thoroughly. A big case like this must be resolved! I believe in you, gentlemen of peace.
The official Beijing police Weibo account is called “Peaceful Beijing” (@平安北京).
@法西斯集中营-毅: [Non-Suicide Vow] Though I am not afraid of death, I do not want to die. Though I may not always succeed in the pressures of life, eking out my insignificant existence is still a small matter. No matter how hard life may be, I will never commit suicide. If I should die in any type of accident, it is homicide, and the police should investigate thoroughly. Life is short and time flies. I will be a good child who loves life.
@Vegas-babe: #Anhuigirljumpsoffbuilding [Non-Suicide Vow] I, Xiao Yin, testify that I will never commit suicide! Not even if I am raped by 100 shameless men, have no car, no home, no lover, no money to feed myself, go through 100 break-ups, and develop gynecological complications from AIDS. If I should die suddenly, it’s homicide! The relevant departments must not blithely conclude my case. May 10, 2013 More: http://t.cn/zT8Uh4o
@杨佩昌: I suggest that all young and beautiful single women who love life should testify openly on Weibo: under no circumstance will I ever choose to take my own life.
Via CDT Chinese. Translation by Junebug.