采访/陈汉 编辑/王子琦 后制/李勇
Were Li Tianyi & Xia Junfeng’s Cases Affected by Public Opinion
On September 25, the Chinese regime
executed Shenyang street vendor Xia Junfeng.
The next day, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) singer
Li Shuangjiang’s son, Li Tianyi, was also sentenced.
Some observers say that the regime sentenced Li likely
considering the social impact of the case.
Then, why did the regime ignore
and go against public opinion in Xia Junfeng’s case?
Let’s take a look.
Li Tianyi’s involvement in a gang rape case
has drawn public attention for the past several months.
On September 26, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison,
The other four defendants got sentences of three to 12 years.
Some people feel very happy about Li’s punishment,
while others think the sentence is too light.
Guangdong activist Tian Li: “I don’t think the sentence is
As it is gang rape, the sentences can range
from 10 years in prison up to death.
Li Tianyi was the ringleader, so his sentence is too light.
The judge is on the side of these ‘official offspring’ youths.
If the same case happened to an average citizen, I believe
he’d at the very least be sentenced to life imprisonment."
Some lawyers say that Li Tianyi’s sentence
was given in consideration of its social impact.
They say the law shouldn’t be influenced by public opinion,
and it should judge based on the facts.
Beijing lawyer Li Fangping says that the current facts
show that Li Tianyi was over sentenced.
The other defendants committed the same crimes,
yet only received lenient sentences or fines.
Regarding this, Liu Yiming, a reporter in Hubei,
says that in China, most of the time the regime doesn’t care
about what the public opinion is.
Liu Yiming:"They pass down sentences however they like.
I think a 10 year sentence is reasonable.
However, Xia Junfeng was given a death sentence,
which is certainly an injustice.
As Xia killed two officers for one of two reasons,
out of self-defense or unjustifiable defense.
Regardless of which it was, neither should lead to execution."
On September 25, 36-year-old Xia Junfeng was executed.
Xia’s wife Zhang Jing suddenly received his ashes
on the following morning.
She cried so hard she fainted, and after her family woke her up,
she continued to cry.
The scene of her sorrow touched many netizens hearts,
sparking an outcry on the internet.
Beijing lawyer Tang Jitian:"There is great contrast between
the hard life Chinese civilians’ and greedy elite groups.
The chance to live in a simple life gets deprived so easily,
and many Chinese people have similar experiences.
In addition, officials and civilians are seriously unequal,
such as Liu Zhijun, Gu Kailai and other corrupt officials.
Clearly the regime is harsh on civilians, but loose on officials."
Legal expert Chen Yongmiao:"It has such a big impact, and
shows the true face of conflicts between civilians and officials.
Any case could be associated with this conflict which will arouse
great influence in the society.
It could become a turning point."
On September 26, CCP mouthpiece Global Times claimed that
online public opinion was “wrapped with layers of emotion".
Global Times said that Xia Junfeng’s execution indicates that
the “law refuses to bend on these debates”.
China’s Legal Daily newspaper said on the same day that due
to the notion of “violence meeting violence" in the society,
dispute between city officers and street vendor rose
from game of cat and mouse to a bloody fight.
Tian Li: “These quasi-police are used to maintain the dictatorship.
Xia Junfeng dares to challenge their authority,
he was bound to be killed.
Otherwise, people would kill all these quasi-police in each city.
Thus the CCP must kill Xia."
Taiwanese actress Annie Yi says
she adopted Xia Junfeng’s wife and son as friends.
Celebrity blogger and film star Yao Chen who has over
53 million fans on Weibo responded to Xia’s death
by posting a painting by Xia’s son, Xia Jianqiang,
Yao said:"In the darkest night one can see the brightest light".
Now people are planning a protest on October 1,
the seventh day following Xia Junfeng’s death.