Yang Jia (杨佳), who killed 6 police officers at Zhabei District police station in Shanghai on July 1, 2008, was executed this morning (26 of Nov, 2008). A twitter account, foreveryangjia, has been set up to express grievance towards this legendary figure.
Upon receiving the news from Yang's mother about the supreme court's approval of execution last night, human right lawyer and blogger Liu Xiaoyuan expressed his regret that the truth is yet to be revealed..
According to Yang's testimony, he was wrongly accused by the Shanghai police for stealing bicycle in 2007 and suffered from physical abuse during the detention. However, in a close door trial in August, Yang was sentenced to death without a reasonable explanation of his intention in the verdict [zh]. Many considered the trial unfair as the lawyer that Yang's father hired were denied and the government appointed another lawyer, a legal consultant for Zhabei district government [zh], to represent Yang. More scandalous is the fact that Yang's mother, Wang Jingmei, had been kept in a psychiatric hospital [zh] run by the Beijing Police Bureau for about four months, throughout the prosecution of her son. (English briefing see Yang Jia: Stranger than Fiction)
While the government is not very committed to find out the truth, Liu Xiao-yuan tried to put the puzzle together and traced the tragedy back to Yang's mother's petition experience:
According to the media report, her son had been helping her to print her appeal documents.
Wang Jingmei's visit petition has affected her son. In Oct 5 2007, after Yang Jia had been abused in the police station, he bought a thousand envelops with a thousand stamps and a box of papers.
After 9 months, the police had visit Beijing twice to investigate the issue, but they had not dealt with the “appeal” properly which leaded to this bloody explosion.
Yang Jia said he just wanted an explanation not for money. The police said Yang Jia took revenge because he did not get his 10 thousand compensation.
Yang Jia's killing has been interpreted, especially on the internet, as a heroic act of challenging the unjust establishment through violence. Below is a poem written by Lu Xi-an in September 2008 that reflects the people sentiment towards Yang Jia. Counter opinion from Xinhua.net can be found in another GV's post written by Bob back in July. The poem is first posted in a sina blog and then re-posted at inmediahk.net:
Yang Jia appeared in Shanghai
Then he entered the dead history.
Some said that he had not
His mother cannot be found.
Ask the police officers, they say they don't know,
Ask the court, the court orders you to stay out of trouble.
The reason is the killing of 6 Shanghai police officers,
Although we don't know the truth,
Although we learn to keep silence
We can't lie to ourselves that we don't know who is Yang Jia.
Yang Jia will no long exist in the history
His mother will disappear without a trace.
how come only Yang Jia's mother is missing,
can we still believe the Shanghai department of justice?
This question is too difficult to answer,
Shanghai police officers dare not answer,
Shanghai judges dare not answer,
Shanghai lawyers dare not answer.
For some, whenever they hear Yang Jia's name,
They are frightened.
Where is the truth?
Don't know, don't know, we don't know.
But it still doesn't have space for a open trial for Yang Jia,
But it still doesn't have space for Yang Jia's mother to testify,
But it still doesn't have space for Beijing's lawyer to defend for Yang Jia,
But it still doesn't have space for a about to die person to speak his last word to the public,
Maybe the words are his remorse.
Don't be too nosy.
Yang Jia is just a human being,
Among the 1.3 billions
A Han off-spring among the 56 ethnic groups
He comes to this world,
Not yet learn how to remorse,
But already lost his words.
He comes to this world,
With little value,
With little opportunity,
But all have been seized away.
Don't care about him anymore,
He is just a human being,
There are too many human being in Shanghai
Who want to save their faces with his death,
To safe their long lost faces.
I think we'd better dropped this.
The last question is
Why Yang Jia had chosen to kill?