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Compensation for family of migrant worker who 'jumped to her death'


08:41, May 13, 2013

Beijing police disclosed more details about the controversial death of a female migrant worker that triggered a protest and online controversy last week. Meanwhile, employers at the mall where she reportedly jumped agreed to compensate her family with 400,000 yuan ($65,000).

Yuan Liya, a 22-year-old migrant worker from Lujiang county in Anhui province, died after jumping from the seventh floor of Jingwen Mall, a clothes wholesale outlet in the capital's Fengtai district, on May 3, according to the police.

Many people, including Yuan's relatives and some migrant workers from Anhui, refused to accept the explanation, claiming there possibly was another reason behind Yuan's death.

Their anger was further ignited by an Internet post that was widely circulated that said Yuan was sexually assaulted by seven security guards in a shopping mall and that police had refused to investigate the case.

Some people staged a protest outside the mall on Wednesday, urging the police to further investigate the case.

On Thursday, Beijing police detained a local woman - identified only as Ma, aged 28 - and accused her of spreading the rumor that Yuan Liya was gang-raped before she fell to her death.

Writing on its Sina Weibo micro blog, the capital's public security bureau said the woman had confessed to fabricating the rumor.

Beijing authorities gave footage from two security-camera taken from the the mall to China Central Television on Saturday. They said they had excluded the possibilities of poisoning, murder and sexual assault.

In the first video, Yuan is seen walking into the mall at 5:08 pm on May 2 and going to the seventh floor using a sightseeing elevator. She then stepped into a room in the northwest corner of the floor at 10:34 pm and turned on a light. Twenty minutes later the woman left with the light switched off.

In the second video, she is seen reaching the staircase at 4:19 am, when she made the fatal jump.

Beijing police officer Qi Shiming told CCTV the video shows no one followed or kidnapped Yuan.

"We found no drugs or poison in her body and her clothes were tidy. There were no sexual assault marks," he said, adding police still need more time to conduct further investigation.

Police in Fengtai also published some details through CCTV that showed windows on the staircase were open and a black handbag was hanging over a bar near the scene.

The mall has agreed to pay Yuan's family 400,000 yuan as compensation for "negligence" by its management.

After the mall closed at 5 pm that day, keepers did not check whether there were people still on the premises, allowing the woman to stay in the center, according to government representatives from Yuan's hometown who came to Beijing to help handle the incident.

A 20-year-old migrant worker named Hu from Yuan's hometown said she hopes the police can publish more videos of the night Yuan stayed in the mall.

"The content of the disclosed footage does not explain a lot of things because Yuan stayed in the mall for almost the whole night but the published videos are only several minutes long," she said.

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