Chinese migrant worker returns home to find her husband has ‘killed’ her

Woman goes back to Sichuan city for first time in years to discover cancelled household registration, a death certificate – and her former spouse remarried

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 June, 2018, 4:45pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 June, 2018, 4:48pm

A migrant worker found she had been declared “dead” by her husband, who wanted to marry another woman, when she returned to their home in southwest China after years away.

When Liu Guoqing went back to Dazhou city in Sichuan province on May 18 for the first time in years she discovered her household registration document, or hukou, had been cancelled, Chengdu Business Daily reported on Wednesday.

Worse, the local police station had issued a death certificate for her in February 2017, declaring she had died from illness in 2015, the report said.

Returning migrants: the Chinese economy’s next great hope?

Liu told the newspaper she had been in contact with her family throughout her time away, working in the city of Changsha in central Hunan province. She suspected her husband had arranged the fake death certificate because he wanted to remarry.

The couple had been married since 1995 and had two sons together, but had lived apart without contact since 2006, the report said.

Despite a phone call from a villager in August telling her there were rumours about her fake death, followed by an instance in October when a bank in Changsha could not recognise her identity card, Liu said she was shocked when she was told.

On May 20 she went to her local police station, where officers confirmed she was “dead”.

“I am clearly here, why were they saying I was already dead?” she was quoted as saying.

According to the form, her husband Yu Ningguo and 68-year-old father Liu Shangming had stamped the application for a death certificate. It was signed by the village chief.

But Liu’s father insisted he had not stamped the application, according to the report.

China’s migrant workers are still marginalised and yet to find their voice in society

Village chief Wen Daojun confirmed his part in the incident, but said he had only been in the job for two years and had not met Liu so he had to trust her husband’s word.

Yu Yongjian, deputy secretary of the village’s party branch, also admitted he did not know the full situation but had written the death certificate application.

Villagers have confirmed that Yu remarried another woman in a neighbouring village but the family have been unable to contact him, the report said.

The local police station confirmed that Liu has now been issued with a new household registration document, the report said.

Liu was unsure whether she was still married to Yu, but told the newspaper she would agree to a divorce.