Vi­o­lent killing in Ger­many prompts calls for greater safety aware­ness

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

BER­LIN — The ver­dict in a case in­volv­ing the bru­tal killing of a Chi­nese stu­dent in Ger­many, which was de­liv­ered on Fri­day, has trig­gered mixed re­ac­tions among Chi­nese stu­dents in the coun­try.

Although they had dif­fer­ing views on the ver­dict, they all said that it high­lighted the i mpor­tance of be­ing more aware of their per­sonal safety.

Li Yang jie, 25, a Chi­nese ar­chi­tec­ture stu­dent, went miss­ing while jog­ging on the evening of May 11, 2016, in the city of Des­sau-Ross­lau, the third-largest city in the Sax­ony-An­halt re­gion of Ger­many.

Her dis­fig­ured body was found aban­doned near the crime scene two days later.

On Fri­day, the court in Des­sau-Ross­lau sen­tenced Se­bas­tian F. to life im­pris­on­ment for rape and mur­der, and his ac­com­plice Xe­nia I. to five years and six months for sex­ual co­er­cion.

Ac­cord­ing to in­ves­ti­ga­tors, the two lured Li to an empty apart­ment and then sex­u­ally as­saulted and phys­i­cally abused her. When they found Li was still alive, they car­ried the se­verely wounded vic­tim and aban­doned her out­side.

Li’s at­tor­ney said: “What they did is even worse be­cause they pre­tended to need help, and Li just wanted to help them. She was a nice girl, and that’s what they ex­ploited.”

Light pun­ish­ment

“Jus­tice has fi­nally been done, I feel my pent-up anger over the mur­derer has been re­lieved a bit,” said Yang Xiao­juan, a doc­tor­ate stu­dent at Free Univer­sity of Ber­lin.

While most Chi­nese stu­dents in Ger­many said jus­tice had been done in terms of the life sen­tence handed to Se­bas­tian F., they were con­fused about the light pun­ish­ment meted out to his ac­com­plice.

Lu Xiaozheng, head of the as­so­ci­a­tion of Chi­nese stu­dents and schol­ars at the Tech­ni­cal Univer­sity of Ber­lin, couldn’t un­der­stand why the court sen­tenced his ac­com­plice ac­cord­ing to the ju­ve­nile crim­i­nal code.

“De­spite her young age, she’s rather ma­ture men­tally, and should be fully able to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for what she did.”

Li’s at­tor­ney said he was not sat­is­fied with the court judge­ment that Xe­nia was not guilty con­cern­ing the mur­der.

“We are con­vinced that Xe­nia did more t han t he court be­lieves,” he said, ad­ding t hat t hey will ap­peal against the ver­dict.

There is an­other case in­volv­ing a fe­male Chi­nese stu­dent un­der­way i n the United States. Zhang Yingy­ing, a fe­male Chi­nese vis­it­ing scholar at the Univer­sity of Illi­nois at Ur­bana-Cham­paign (UIUC), was last seen en­ter­ing a car driven by a 28-year-old white man i n June. The man has been charged with her kid­nap­ping. Zhang, 26, is presumed dead by the FBI.

Rais­ing safety aware­ness among Chi­nese schol­ars and stu­dents has topped our work­ing agenda.” Fang Qiang, first sec­re­tary of the Chi­nese em­bassy in Ber­lin’s ed­u­ca­tion di­vi­sion

Chen Cheng, a doc­tor­ate stu­dent of Hum­boldt Univer­sity in Ber­lin, said, fol­low­ing the two cases, Chi­nese stu­dents have be­come more vig­i­lant.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by the Cen­ter for China and Glob­al­iza­tion, a Bei­jing-based think-tank, a to­tal of 1.26 mil­lion Chi­nese stu­dents, or one­fourth of in­ter­na­tional stu­dents world­wide, were study­ing abroad in 2015.

“Rais­ing safety aware­ness among Chi­nese schol­ars and stu­dents has topped our work­ing agenda”, said Fang Qiang, first sec­re­tary of the em­bassy’s ed­u­ca­tion di­vi­sion, ad­ding that it or­ga­nized ed­u­ca­tion ses­sions on per­sonal safety each year as part of the ori­en­ta­tion for new­com­ers.

On the other hand, he also wanted stu­dents and par­ents to un­der­stand that cases like Li’s were ex­tremely rare in Ger­many.

The Chi­nese em­bassy in Ger­many es­ti­mated that there are around 50,000 Chi­nese schol­ars and stu­dents in Ger­many.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.