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Prosecutors probe prisoner's death

PROSECUTORS in a west China city are investigating the sudden death of a prisoner.

The prisoner, Shi Faren, 46, was found dead in bed in his cell in Yan'an Prison in Shaanxi Province, on March 6, the China Business View reported today.

Prison officers said Shi died from natural causes but his wife, surnamed Wang, said she saw marks around his neck and dark red marks on his body.

The wife asked prison officers to show her security video of Shi's cell before his death, but this was refused. Officers said there was no such video.

Wang said Shi was the eldest of the eight inmates in his cell. She ruled out abuse and said inmates and prison officers were always nice to him.

But she was uncertain whether the prison officers had provided adequate medical treatment.

Shi was sentenced to eight years in 2007 in prison for selling fake products. His jail term was to run from September 14, 2007 to September 13, 2015. He went to the Yan'an prison in April, 2008.

Prison records showed Shi had been healthy in his 11 months in the prison and had never, until March 6, visited the prison clinic.

The prison said Shi visited the clinic early on the morning of March 6, complaining of trouble breathing. He remained at the clinic for 20 minutes for observation but returned to his cell after he felt well again. At 6.50am, officers went to his cell to give him breakfast, but found him dead in his bed.

Prosecutors from Yan'an's Baota District are investigating.


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