A Zhejiang man in his 80s was tried at his home on Monday for allegedly killing a doctor in 1967 during China’s violent Cultural Revolution, Chinanews.com reported on Tuesday.
Chinanews.com deleted the original article on Tuesday after it was re-posted by major news portals including People’s Daily and Xinhua. No explanation has been offered.
The man, identified by his last name as Qiu, was accused of killing a doctor surnamed Hong, who was suspected of being an “espionage agent”.
Qiu said he was "selected" by a group of armed and fanatical civilian comrades to kill Hong. He strangled Hong to death with a piece of rope and broke his legs before burying him in the ground, the report said.
Qiu was arrested in July last year, the report added.
The story sparked heated discussion on Sina Weibo, China’s twitter-like service.
“What about those big names who started the Cultural Revolution? ” said one netizen, “How come they never took any responsibility?”
“How about the thousands of other murderers?,” wrote another blogger.
“The murders and those who died are all victims of the Cultural Revolution,” wrote another netizen.
The Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), which brough great suffering and death to millions of Chinese, still remains a sensitive topic in China. The Communist Party tries to avoid serious discussion of the Cultural Revolution out of the mainstream Chinese media.
Many believe the government fears an open debate could be used to undermine its official history of a period, which it euphemistically refers to as a “serious setback” for the party.