Mother cir­cu­lates death penalty petition amid pub­lic out­cry

Global Times US Edition - - CHINA -

The death of a 24-year-old Chi­nese woman, who was stabbed by the ex-boyfriend of her room­mate in Ja­pan last year, still brings pain to many Chi­nese who have signed a petition calling for the death penalty ahead of his trial next month.

The sus­pect, Chen Shifeng, is sched­uled to stand trial on De­cem­ber 11 in Tokyo for mur­der­ing Chi­nese stu­dent Jiang Ge, on Novem­ber 3, 2016, Jiang’s mother wrote on her Sina Weibo ac­count.

Jiang’s mother wrote that Chen stabbed her daugh­ter to death just out­side the door of her rental apart­ment, while Liu Xin, Jiang’s room­mate and Chen’s ex-girl­friend, kept the door closed when the in­ci­dent hap­pened in the evening.

The rea­son for the stab­bing re­mains un­known, with some spec­u­lat­ing that Chen stabbed Jiang as the girl out­side the door re­fused to let him en­ter the house to talk to Liu. How­ever, Liu said that she had no idea about what hap­pened out­side.

The case at­tracted a lot of at­ten­tion af­ter the Chi­nese me­dia’s re­port in Novem­ber 2016. The at­ten­tion was height­ened when peo­ple saw Liu show­ing off her cozy life on so­cial me­dia and ig­nor­ing re­quests from Jiang’s mother for ev­i­dence.

Liu would nei­ther apol­o­gize nor com­fort Jiang’s fam­ily af­ter the case got un­der­way and she threat­ened not to help the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter Jiang’s mother crit­i­cized her in pub­lic, ac­cord­ing to Weibo posts of Jiang’s mother, Jiang Qi­u­lian.

A re­lated hash­tag, “Chi­nese stu­dent mur­dered in Ja­pan,” had got­ten more than 1.9 bil­lion hits as of press time on Sina Weibo, with an in­creas­ing num­ber of com­ments about Chen’s be­hav­ior.

Jiang Qi­u­lian be­gan a drive to col­lect sig­na­tures for an on­line petition to call for the death penalty for Chen, in Au­gust, and man­aged to get more than 180,000 peo­ple within 30 hours.

“We un­der­stand that peo­ple rarely get the death sen­tence in Ja­pan, but we be­lieve that this is one of the most heinous crimes, the bru­tal mur­der of an in­no­cent girl be­cause of a per­sonal grudge with some­one else. The sus­pect, Chen Shifeng, also showed no re­morse af­ter leav­ing the vic­tim’s fam­ily in pieces,” the petition stated.

Jiang is also try­ing to get the Ja­panese to sign the petition in Tokyo ahead of Chen’s trial, but she did not say how many sig­na­tures she had man­aged to col­lect.

Liu de­nied all the things the mother had blamed her for, on Sina Weibo, and claimed that ne­ti­zens were “in­cit­ing the pub­lic” and that she couldn’t re­veal any de­tails of the case be­cause she was as­sist­ing the po­lice with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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