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(博讯北京时间2009年5月29日 来稿)
    2009年5月28日 第A7页
     China Murder Case Sparks Women's Rights Uproar (博讯 boxun.com)

    BEIJING -- A hotel employee whose arrest for the murder of an official sparked a wave of national sympathy in China after her lawyers said she was fighting off a rape attack has been released on bail, the state-controlled Xinhua news agency said.
    The case is the latest in a series of scandals in China involving alleged abuse by the rich or powerful.
    Deng Yujiao, 21, was arrested May 10 after she allegedly stabbed two local government officials with a fruit knife in the Xiongfeng Hotel in central Hubei province, killing one of them.
    Ms. Deng got in a quarrel with Huang Dezhi when he "mistook" her for a bathhouse attendant and asked her for "cross gender" services, according to a police report.
    Mr. Huang's colleague, Deng Guida, eventually intervened and the argument escalated when he pushed Ms. Deng onto a couch twice, and she "took a fruit knife and stabbed" Mr. Deng four times, including once in the neck, the report said. She also stabbed Mr. Huang in the forearm. Mr. Deng, who worked for an office overseeing investment projects in Badong city and isn't related to Ms. Deng, later died from his injuries.
    Badong County officials said the local public-security bureau is investigating the case, and Ms. Deng hasn't been formally charged. A public-security report said she was initially detained for "suspicion of intentionally killing" Mr. Deng.
    Ms. Deng's lawyers have said she was acting in self-defense when the men tried to rape her after she refused to have sex with them for money.
    The case sparked public anguish over the issue of violence against women, and a flood of sympathy for Ms. Deng in comments flooding in to Chinese Internet forums and blogs.
    An essay posted on a Web forum hosted by the People's Daily newspaper called the stabbing a "heroic act" and a milestone for women's liberation. The date of the attack -- May 10 -- "will forever be remembered as the day on which a [girl] bravely defended herself and fought against the corrupt official when her life was threatened," said the author, writing under the name "Shenzhou Shouwang," or "Watching Over China."
    In a forum on the same site, a user called Guo Chunfu wrote that Ms. Deng "used her own acts to show that even the underprivileged can have a dignified life."
    The outpouring of support prompted the Badong County government to take the extraordinary step of posting a headline on its Web site inviting anyone concerned with the case to call the county's news and information center. The site says a representative has been assigned to the case to ensure that investigations are transparent and timely.
    Last weekend, five women demonstrated in support of Ms. Deng near the Beijing West Railway Station. Wu Rongrong, an AIDS activist in the group, said the protest highlighted the need for greater "social respect and legal protection" for women. Another protester, wrapped in white cloth and wearing a face mask, lay on the floor next to sheets of paper that read: "Anyone may become Deng Yujiao."
    Spokesmen for the Badong County government declined to comment further on the case, and Ms. Deng couldn't be reached for comment. Her defense lawyers were fired at her mother's request this week after disagreements over strategy.
    Earlier this month, there was a public uproar after reports that the wealthy owner of a speeding car that killed a pedestrian in the eastern city of Hangzhou had escaped immediate prosecution. Xinhua reported that the driver, who was later arrested for manslaughter. His family ended up agreeing to pay 1.1 million yuan ($165,000) in compensation to the victim's family.
    —Kersten Zhang contributed to this article.
    Write to Loretta Chao at [email protected] [博讯来稿] (博讯 boxun.com)

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