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Official dies in custody, family wants answers

By Hu Qingyun (Global Times)

08:46, April 25, 2013

The family of a senior court official from the city of Sanmenxia, Henan Province who died Tuesday while being detained by the city's commission for discipline inspection, said his body was bruised and is demanding a thorough investigation.

Jia Jiuxiang, who was vice president of the Sanmenxia City Intermediate People's Court, was detained on April 12 and died 11 days later after being sent to the hospital for emergency treatment.

The court and the commission declined to discuss Jia's cause of death or reveal why he was in custody when reached by the Global Times.

Jia's son, Jia Tianran, told the Global Times that he believes his father was tortured and beaten to death, as his father's body was covered with bruises and his wrists showed signs of being tightly bound.

"The doctor at the hospital said my father died of heart failure but he refused to show us his medical records. We don't believe he died of heart attack. My father was in good health and had no record of heart diseases," Jia said, adding that his father was only 49 years old.

Jia said family members tried to take pictures of his father's body outside the hospital treatment room but were stopped by the police.

A staffer at the hospital, who refused to give his name, confirmed this detail when reached by the Global Times, but refused to provide further details of Jia's emergency treatment.

Some officials told the family that an investigation into Jia's death would be carried out.

The family requested the authorities make public the commission's surveillance tapes and the medical records of the emergency treatment, and allow a third-party from outside the province to conduct an autopsy.

On April 9, Yu Qiyi, a Party member of a State-owned company in Zhejiang Province, also died while being held for investigation by the city's commission. His family said Yu's body was covered in bruises.

Pu Zhiqiang, an attorney representing Yu's family, told the Global Times on Wednesday that local judicial organs are investigating Yu's death and some suspects have been detained.

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