China’s top prosecutor to examine Shandong loan shark killing case

Society & Culture

Top society and culture news for March 27, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "The selection of Carrie Lam."


Reuters reports that China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) will review a controversial case in which a man was jailed for life after killing a loan shark who threatened his mother.

Su Yinxia 苏银霞, the man’s mother, borrowed more than 1 million yuan at a monthly interest rate of 10 percent from a local real estate developer in 2014 in order to keep her own company afloat. Since then, Su paid him back 1.84 million yuan in cash, and transferred to him a property valued around 700,000 yuan. The amount, however, did not cover her debt, and on April 14, 2016, a group of 11 thugs showed up at Su’s office to demand further payment. Su’s son, 22-year-old Yu Huan 于欢, was present, and an argument began that led to one man, Du Zhihao 杜志浩, described in a report (in Chinese) by the Southern Weekly as a gangster, reportedly pulling off his pants and exposing his genitals. Police arrived at the scene after a factory worker called them, but they stayed for only about four minutes, telling the two sides to settle the matter peacefully. After the police left, the dispute escalated, and Yu used a knife to stab four of the gangsters, including Du, who died after being sent to a nearby hospital.

Yu was sentenced to life in prison in February, but the Southern Weekly’s article on the episode that was published last Saturday brought public attention to the case. Titled “The man who killed those who insulted his mother,” the article focused on two questions regarding the case — whether Yu was acting in self-defense and whether Du’s death is a case of police negligence.

The case has been widely discussed on Chinese social media, with many internet users calling for leniency for Yu and for a deeper examination into the police’s role. “Yu is innocent,” Yi Zhongtian 易中天, a famous Chinese writer and scholar, wrote (in Chinese) on Weibo. “Stabbing the people who insulted one’s mother is not only an act of self-defense, but also a bold act for a just cause.”