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Inmate who died asleep suffered heavy blows

A DETAINEE who reportedly died in a detention house after having what the detention officials said a nightmare had suffered heavy blows to the head, an autopsy shows.

Li Wenyan, 50, died in a detention house in Jiujiang, Jiangxi Province, on March 27.

A forensic expert surnamed Zhao found in Thursday's postmortem that Li had been struck by a sharp object and had several scars on his forehead, according to Wuhan-based Chutian Metropolis Daily. Further tests are being carried out.

The autopsy was conducted in Jiujiang's morgue by experts from the Public Security Bureau of Jiangxi Province. Li's family, who were present, had asked for the autopsy to be conducted by experts from another province.

Li was arrested by police for stealing cables in January. According to a guard in the detention house, Li's roommate found him crying in fear at midnight on March 27. The police sent him to a hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly afterward.

The detention authority told Li's family later he died unexpectedly after having a nightmare. But Li's brother, Li Wenpu, questioned that explanation.

The detention house suggested the injury was caused during a card game with other inmates. A vital section of a security video could not be shown to the family because of a computer error, the detention house said. Zhao said he could not tell at this stage whether the injuries could have been self-inflicted.

There have been reported 15 "unnatural" deaths in detention houses this year. Seven were beaten to death.


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