“An Open Letter to the Kunming M.P.C. Secretary”

The following is a translation of this post by Li Yinhe.

Dear Kunming Municipal Party Committee Complaints Secretary,

I want to discuss with you the Kunming Elementary School student prostitution case, the Chen Yan prostitution case that followed it, and the father-accommodated prostitution case. According to my analysis of the interviews of reporters, there are large suspicious aspects of all three of these correlated cases, they may all be cases of injustice.

The first case: the prostitution of Liu Nuonuo (age 15), and Liu Tingting (age 13).
This case has already been judged by police as having been factually unsubstantiated, and as a result, six officers have been suspended from duty and a public notification has been made.

The second case: the prostitution of Chen Yan (age 16).
The Yunnan News reported on June 3rd that several days after the virgin girls [i.e. Liu Nuonuo and Liu Tingting] sold themselves, their father Liu Shihua asked for a large sum in compensation, enraging the police. Using the [alleged] prostitution of Chen Yan as an excuse, they brought the whole family into the police substation, and after extorting confessions for a week came to the result of Chen Yan having been a prostitute.

Why do I suspect that the Chen Yan’s prostitution case is an example of injustice? Because I saw this bit of dialogue between her and a reporter:

Reporter: Do you know what ‘standing in the street’ [i.e., prostitution] is? Have you ever ‘stood in the street’?
Chen Yan: Yes. I was waiting for friends. Sometimes we can’t all arrive at the same time, so I stood in the street to wait for them. Some times we walk in the street together, a large group of people, but when we stop to eat barbecue we are also standing in the street while we eat.
Reporter: Have you ‘had relations’ [i.e., had sex] with anyone before?
Chen Yan: I will have fun with friends from society, eat barbecue, sing karaoke, and have a lot of fun so I’m very happy. When I have an especially good impression, I have had relations but never accepted any money.

In my opinion, a 16 year-old who doesn’t even know what ‘standing in the street’ means is very unlikely to have engaged in prostitution.

The third case: Liu Shihua [the father] accommodating this prostitution.
On the morning of June 29th, a reporter accompanied two reporters in a visit with Liu Shihua as he was awaiting trial. He had already been locked up for three weeks and when he saw the lawyers he was “so excited his hands were shaking”. He told the lawyers he denied having accommodated prostitution. His deposition in the police station was forced out of him. He said that the police said if he just admitted to having accommodated the prostitution of his daughter, the whole family could be released.

Reporter: Why did you admit your eldest daughter had engaged in prostitution?
Liu Shihua: If I didn’t admit it, the whole family would be locked up. I don’t want my family to endure hardship.

From the above we can see that there are large suspicious aspects of these cases, and that they may be injustices.

Secretary, I have often heard you are known as an honest and fair official. If injustice happens under your watch, no matter how complex the details of the case, no matter the motives of the perpetrators, I think you will definitely investigate it until the end, and definitely have the ability to bring the truth to light in future injustice cases.

Right now, the nationwide media is all focused on this case. It has already gone from a small case of a small police station browbeating a small commoner to a big case that touches on the the fair administration of justice, the image of the police, and the image of the government. Please, even though you are busy, take some time to look into this case. I hope the case is dealt with fairly.

Li Yinhe, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

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