Minitrue: Migrant Mother Killed in Beijing Subway

Minitrue: Migrant Mother Killed in Beijing Subway

The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source.

All websites must take care to delete the Caixin article “Passing Through the Subway: Pan Xiaomei, Migrant Mother in Beijing.” (November 10, 2014)

各网注意删除财新网《地铁中的过客:北漂母亲潘小梅》一文。 [Chinese]

The Caixin report identifies Pan Xiaomei as the woman who died on November 6 when she got stuck between the train doors and the safety doors in a Beijing subway station. Passengers tried to alert the conductor by pounding on the doors, but the train pulled away, dragging Pan down. She died that evening at the hospital.

Car traffic is being strictly limited in Beijing while the APEC summit goes on–license plates ending in even and odd numerals alternate days on the road. The traffic restrictions could add one million subway passengers during the summit, according to an earlier report by Caijing, cited by the South China Morning Post’s Nectar Gan.

The central government is trying to show Beijing at its best– even better than its best–during APEC. Websites have been warned to delete negative comments about APEC. A story about a horrific transportation accident befalling a migrant worker living in the capital without a Beijing hukou (household registration) does not compliment these efforts. Caixin was stymied in its investigation of Pan’s life and death:

It was difficult to obtain information about the deceased. The subway corporation, the Public Security Bureau (PSB), and even the hospital all refused to say a word on the matter. After the accident, this Caijing reporter rushed to the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, where Pan Xiaomei was being treated, only to learn that her remains had already been sent to the PSB for autopsy.

[…] The market [where Pan worked] was desolate. Only a few customers dotted the quiet store. “We were so close to her. The day after (the accident), everyone cried.”  A male coworker, who was unwilling to give his surname, told Caijing, “Till now, I can’t accept that it’s true.”


市场内十分萧条,只有零星顾客,很安静。“我们和她朝夕相处,(事发)第二天大家都哭了。”一个不愿透露姓名的男同事对财新记者说:“至今也不愿相信这是真的。” [Chinese]

A similar accident happened in Shanghai in July 2007.

真Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. The date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source.


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