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Hide-and-seek

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躲猫猫(死)(duǒ māo māo (sǐ)): hide-and-seek (death)

“Prison hide-and-seek competition.”
Competition for the lamest excuse for a prison inmate’s death. In first place is “drank boiled water,” second is “played hide-and-seek,” and third goes to “hanged himself with his own shoelace.”

In 2009, farmer Li Qiaoming died from serious head injuries while under police custody in Yunnan Province for illegal logging. The prison authorities claimed that Li ran into a wall while playing hide-and-seek with other prison inmates. After netizens grumbled, the authorities agreed to allow an inspection of the prison—but the “volunteer” inspectors were revealed to be employees of state-run media.

Over the years, police and prisons have blamed inmate deaths on other unusual causes: see "death by drinking boiled water," death by hanging," “death by slipping and falling,” "suffocation by quilt," “death by nightmare,” and “death from being overly excited” [zh].