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Disease caused death of man in police custody

AN investigation into the death of a 50-year-old man in police detention showed he died from disease, police in east China's Jiangxi Province said yesterday.

Li Wenyan, who was held in a detention center in Jiujiang City on January 24 for allegedly destroying power facilities, died on March 27 because of a duodenal ulcer and massive bleeding which caused asphyxia, said the autopsy report of Jiangxi Provincial Public Security Department.

Li was found to have other medical problems including coronary atherosclerotic heart disease and chronic atrophic gastritis, which had not been found during custody, said the report.

Police had ruled out poisoning or any weapon being used as no poison or fatal trauma had been found on or in his body.

Police found Li's health was bad when he was arrested, but they said medical care for people under arrest was not included in the custodial budget, so they called Li's brother for help.

His brother's wife answered the phone and just said "Leave him alone," according to police.

Li had been sent to the custody's clinic five times. Doctors said Li was weak from malnutrition because of his poor living condition.

But the clinic's doctors could not diagnose his diseases because of lack of equipment and experience, police said.

Li was put on a special nutritious diet and had eaten meat the day before his death.


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