Beijing airport explosion

Beijing airport bomber's 'mistreatment' case reopened

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 22 July, 2013, 2:20pm

Security officials in the Guangdong city of Dongguan have been ordered to reopen the case into an alleged beating eight years ago that paralysed a motorcycle taxi driver who set off a home-made bomb in protest at Beijing's airport on Saturday.

The Public Security Bureau in Guangdong asked the Dongguan branch to carry out a thorough investigation into mistreatment claimed by Ji Zhongxing, the bomber, and his ensuing petitions, the national broadcaster CCTV reported yesterday, adding that the probe was already under way.

Ji, a 34-year-old Shandong native, detonated the home-made explosive in Terminal 3 of Beijing Capital International Airport on Saturday evening, injuring only himself.

Video of the explosion at Beijing's airport. Warning: contains graphic images

The wheelchair-bound petitioner had complained earlier in his weibo account about being beaten and left paralysed in Dongguan by security officials for allegedly trying to evade a random check while driving a motorcycle taxi in the city eight years ago.

The Dongguan petitions office issued a statement hours after the explosion stating that in March 2010 police in the city had given 100,000 yuan (HK$125,000) to Ji, who promised to drop any claims , according to the Guangzhou-based Yangcheng Evening News.

"Yes, we accepted the 100,000 yuan in relief funds offered by them in my hometown a few years ago," Ji Zhongji, Ji's elder brother, told the Post yesterday, but stressed that he and his brother had rejected the money at first.

"We accepted it only when they told us that the money was intended to help us, and signed our names on a sheet of paper," said Ji Zhongji, adding that both men were not sure exactly what was written on the paper as he was illiterate while his younger brother could only read a small amount.

"We were then surprised when the officials warned us, as they held the paper in their hands, that we could make no further petitions. Otherwise, we would have to bear full responsibility for anything that happened later."

Ji Zhongji said he received a phone message yesterday morning that his younger brother's left hand had been amputated in Beijing Jishuitan Hospital before he was taken by police to an unknown destination.

Thousands of internet users expressed support for Ji Zhongxing, particularly after Beijing News reported that he had warned passers-by in the airport minutes before setting off his bomb.

"He warned those people ... who in this country is willing to stand up and say they are more righteous than him?" Zhao Xiao, a professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology wrote on his Sina Weibo site.

Lawyer Yuan Yulai wrote: "By warning others to move away, he is a good person … I hope authorities will be understanding, or they will set off a vicious cycle."

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse