Partially-paralysed woman dies 'after protest at Chinese government office'

Woman suffered head wound after she stayed at the building for three days in a dispute over welfare payments, according to a mainland newspaper report

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 May, 2014, 3:01pm
UPDATED : Friday, 09 May, 2014, 4:03pm

A partially-paralysed woman embroiled in a dispute with the authorities over welfare payments has died of a head wound after she was left at a government office building for three days, a mainland newspaper reported.

Deng Yujiao and her sister-in-law were staging their protest at the government offices in the town of Yantian in Hunan province and she was found dead one morning last month, The Beijing News said.

Officials said she might have fallen, but her sister-in-law – who is mentally ill – said Deng may have been injured after she was dragged from a chair by a woman at the offices, the report said.

Police have yet to make a statement on the cause of death.

Deng was partially paralysed after she had a stroke last year and her family was heavily in debt because of her expensive medical treatment, which cost the family nearly 70,000 yuan (HK$88,000).

Her husband decided to claim government welfare payments for low-income families. If approved, it would have entitled them to 111 yuan a month.

Government officials turned down their request in spite of their repeated efforts.

The officials said Deng’s two sons had breached the one-child policy and failed to pay their fines.

Deng’s husband alleged the party head of his village refused to grant him the payments because he did not vote for him in an election.

He also accused the village party chief of only giving subsidies to his relatives and villagers who supported him.

The husband left his wife and his sister-in-law at the office of the local anti-corruption watchdog on April 18 in nearby Wugang and refused to bring them home.

He hoped the protest would help persuade the government to give the payments.

Officials took the two women to the government office building in Yantian, where the two women stayed for three days without medical care.

The Yantian government has agreed to pay the family 46,000 yuan in compensation after Deng’s death.