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China: Press conference held following suspicious death of rural activist

It has not been a peaceful week in the news, with a crossbow-shooting bomber-petitioner in Beijing, a city administration official killed with a screwdriver today in Fujian province, and the grisly death of village leader Qian Yunhui in Zhejiang province on Christmas day.

[UPDATE: Roland Soong at EastSouthWestNorth has been translating stories from Chinese media regarding Qian's death and the official response, The “Accidental” Death Of A Village Mayor]

Over the weekend, amid minimal efforts to censor it, this last story has escalated to the point where a post written by Qian back in August, now with photos and details from the scene of his death, has received more than 19,000 comments; Qian's name has trended on Baidu, and local officials held a press conference Monday afternoon [zh].

Even Sina blogs is running a post from well-known sports journalist Li Chengpeng which carries the graphic photos of Qian's death beneath the wheel of a construction truck. Starting by addressing rumors that Qian was held down by police while the truck crushed him, Li writes:

正如你们已知的信息:他死时,道路上的监视器恰恰坏掉了,肇事司机迅速转移了,大队执盾牌、穿威武制服的人如神兵天降,把村民分割包围,还有一些穿着黑衣黑裤的家伙迅速移动着……这个事故和大家已知的很多故事一样,结论是:一起普通的交通肇事,有司正在处理中。

As you already know, at the time of his death, the surveillance cameras on that road just happened to be broken, the driver of the vehicle was quickly taken away, and the guys in mighty uniforms with their shields fell like gods from the sky to split up the villagers and seal off the area. Then some in their black shirts and black pants quickly moved to…this story goes just like the many others that everyone already knows, and the result was: this was a typical traffic accident and the driver is being dealt with.

The speed at which troops appeared to seal off the village have left many suspicious of the official story line

这些信息没有得到权威方面的证实,永远得不到证实,一起普通的交通肇事,如我爸是李刚一样。好在得知真相的方法,我们已从耳朵,改为心,在这个地方,我们已篡改感官构造来认识世界。唯一能纪念这个名叫钱云会的方式,是有人能把他的头颅仔细安上。

This information hasn't been authoritatively verified and never will be. This was a typical traffic accident, just like my dad is Li Gang. Fortunately, we have other ways of learning the truth that go beyond what we hear to what we know in our hearts. In this country, our organs have adapted, allowing us to see the world for what it is. The only way to commemorate this person named Qian Yunhui would be to carefully put his head back on.

这是一颗尊严的头颅。六年以来,这颗头一直在琢磨怎么把那146顷属于村民的土地从官员和商人那儿要回来,保证以种植为主的村民有生计。四个月前,这颗头还在费劲地遣词造句,托人发了一个帖子讲述官家怎么伪造文件,怎么出动数百兵力围殴,怎么把他和另外几个带头人判刑一年零六个月……这颗头颅里想出的最后一句坚强的话:此文章如有任何污蔑之嫌,由我钱云会负责。

他以为他这颗头颅是坚强的。
但仍敌不过车轮的重轧。

This is a sacred head. For six years, this head has tormented over how to win that 146 qing of land belonging to the villagers back from officials and developers, to ensure the livelihood of these villagers who mainly live off farming. Four months ago, this head struggled to put words and sentences together and had someone post for him his tale of how officials had falsified documents, dispatched hundreds of troops to surround and beat him, how he and a few others leading that ended up serving a year and six months….and the last resolute thought this head had was: if anyone suspects what's written above to be slanderous, I, Qian Yunhui, take responsibility.

He thought his head was strong.
But it wasn't strong enough to stop a truck tire from crushing it.

Live-tweeting from the Monday afternoon press conference in Yueqing was this one unnamed local reporter, who writes:

目前新闻发布会到场媒体,中央电视台,人民网,现代金报,浙江时报,温州都市报等媒体!

Of the media here at the press conference are: CCTV, People's Daily, Ningbo Modern Gold News, Zhejiang Times, Wenzhou Metropolis Daily!

很奇怪,发言席为什么会设移动乐清分公司席位。据传,钱云会生前最后一个电话是移动公司打给他,具体内容不详!希望真相等会能解开!

It's strange that the speaker's chair has been given to someone from the local Yueqing branch of China Mobile. Apparently, Qian Yunhui's last phone call was actually the mobile company calling him, not sure about the details though! I hope the truth is about to come out!

签到时候,现场一个工作人员说,其实这就是一个普通的交通事故。。。。。。我推测发布会可能不会推翻此前有关部门的定性!

When I signed in, one of the staff here said, you know, this was just a typical traffic accident……I dare say this press conference won't be overturning this prepared definition from the relevant departments!

公安机关发言人称,当天上午警方接警称当天车祸发生后,乐清交警和当地边防派出所民警到达现场。当时工程车驾驶员已逃!现场有四十多名村民聚集,对警员展开围攻!

The police spokesman says that after police received a call of a traffic accident in the morning, Yueqing traffic police and officers from the local police station went to the scene. By that time, the driver of the construction vehicle had already fled! More than around forty villagers had gathered around and began attacking police from all sides!

警方称驾驶员费良玉属于无证驾驶!

Police say that the driver, Fei Liangyu, was driving without a license!

移动公司发言人称,现场安装的闭路监控未完全投入使用。只有拍摄功能,而没有存储图像的功能!这有点扯!

The China Mobile spokesperson says that the CCTV surveillance cameras at the scene haven't yet been put to full use. The viewing function has been activated, but nothing is being recorded! This is baloney!

有记者提问,工程车为什么逆向行驶?交警发言人称,现场右侧摆放着电缆,无法通行,工程车向左侧对向车道行驶,撞上横穿马路的钱某!交警初步判定当时工程车车速不快!

One reporter asks, why was the construction vehicle backing up? The police spokesman says there were cables on the right side of the road and the vehicle couldn't move forward. As the construction vehicle reversed to the left, it struck Mr. Qian who was crossing the road! The police's preliminary decision is that the construction vehicle was not moving quickly!

有记者问,驾驶员费良玉有无前科?何时来乐清工作?交警发言人称交通肇事罪是过失犯罪,有无前科与此案无关!

One reporter asks if the driver Fei Liangyu has a criminal record. When did he begin working in Yueqing? The traffic police spokesperson says that traffic accidents are acts of criminal negligence and any prior criminal history has nothing to do with this case!

记者提问,现场死者状态双手举着,仅颈部有伤痕,为何死状如此奇特?交警发言人称,工程车左侧档板有撞击痕迹,车祸时如何撞击,死者为何有此死状,是无逻辑可寻的!

One reporter asks, at the scene, the deceased has both hands raised up, but only the only damage is to the head. How do you explain such a peculiar death? The traffic police spokesperson says that there are signs of impact damage to the left side of the construction vehicle…but this makes no logical sense regarding how the vehicle was struck at the time of the accident and why the deceased was in such a strange position!

记者问,事故发生后,死者弟弟和弟媳妇被警方带走,是何原因?公安发言人称,案件侦破过程中,不便透露!

One reporter asks, following the accident, the brother and widow of the deceased were taken away by police, for what reason? The public security bureau spokesperson says that the case is currently under investigation and this cannot be addressed at this time!

我和同事现在去现场,希望能再找出点什么!

Colleagues and I are going to the scene of the accident, let's hope we find something else!

2 comments

  • […] 28 UPDATE: More translated information available at EastSouthWestNorth and Global Voices Online. Related Posts Motorcyclist Hits Truck, Flips 360° & Lands On Feet Unharmed 39 […]

  • […] Former village leader allegedly held under truck by police on Christmas Day while truck rolls over himChinese netizens have been outraged lately by the murder of Qian Yunhui, former village leader of Zhaiqiao village, near Yueqing, Wenzhou who has served over five years in prison for protesting over the illegal landgrab in the village. Gruesome images of the bloody remains of Qian under a truck have been floating around on Tianya and Sina Weibo, and some purporting to be eyewitnesses have claimed that Qian was held down by policemen while the truck rolled over him. John Kennedy of Global Voices has done an excellent job translating tweets from a journalist who was present at the press conference held by the local PSB. Police claims that Qian's death was the result of a "typical traffic accident" have left journalists incredulous, opening up more questions than answering them. Read some of the eye-opening statements made by police here. […]

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