Following the suspicious death of a young woman in Beijing, an anti-suicide message has gone viral in China.
The BBC reports that the message has been posted over 20 million times and become the second highest trending topic on Weibo.
For example, this one version of the message (one of many) has been “forwarded” over 31,000 times:
WeiboLiz Carter, a China analyst who tweets as @WithoutDoing, says the message roughly translates to “I promise I wont commit suicide…if I die, investigate thoroughly! RT to avoid ‘being suicided.”
The message began to spread in the aftermath of the death of a 22-year-old girl, Yuan Liya, who fell from a shopping centre Fengtai District of Beijing last Friday around 4am.
While the young woman’s death was officially treated as a suicide, another theory spread online — that the young woman from Anhui province had been gang-raped by security guards and then murdered.
According to China Digital Times, authorities refused to released CCTV footage of her fall, adding fuel to suspicions. Many other workers at the mall feel that she was unlikely to kill herself, the Wall Street Journal reports, as she was the primary carer for her cancer-stricken father.
By Wednesday there were widespread protests near the mall, with many migrant workers from Anhui accusing police of a cover-up. Anti-riot vans and paramilitary forces had to be sent to keep the crowds calm, according to the South China Morning Post.
Here’s a video from the protests on Wednesday:
Authorities, however, are adamant that the death was a suicide, and yesterday the Weibo account of the Beijing police reported that they had detained one woman alleged to have spread rumours about a murder online.
According to the South China Morning Post, the woman had reportedly heard the story from her neighbours.
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