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Two deaths reported at 'water torture' detention house

TWO deaths in custody have been uncovered at a detention house in north China's Hebei Province which is being investigated after a detainee claimed he had been forced to drink 15 liters of water a day by a bullying inmate.

The forced consumption of water permanently disabled Qin Yingwei, 27, and left him blind from high blood pressure.
Qin was bullied into regular poker games by an intimidating inmate and forced to drink tap water every time he lost a game for nearly two months.

The two deaths occurred between April and November in 2007, today's Yanzhao Metropolis Daily reported.

Fang Jiangwei died on November 29 at the age of 25 and 17-year-old Zhi Guoyu died on April 18.

Fang was sent to a hospital on November 28 after complaining of headaches. He was sent back to the detention house after getting better but was rushed back to the hospital early next day after having fits. An hour later he was pronounced dead, his mother Jiao Shuyan quoted the forensic report as saying.

Jiang's parents believed their son had been beaten to death as they saw bruising on their son's body.

His father said he had seen a man beating Jiang up on the first day he was sent to the detention house.

"I don't know the attacker's name, but I could recognize him," the father told the Yanzhao Metropolis Daily.

The mother said her son was very scared during their last meeting.

The forensic report indicated Jiang's nose was filled with blood and two needle marks were found on his body. There was also bruising.

The detention house offered Jiang's parents 90,000 yuan (US$13,173.84) in "financial aid," the parents said.

Accusing the detention house of delays in providing medical aid for Jiang, the parents said they are taking legal action against the detention house.

Zhi Guoyum, a native of north China's Henan Province, died from what the detention house described as "respiratory failure," according to his father Zhi Zhuanxin.

The family had demanded an autopsy, but had to drop the idea as the detention house asked them for 5,000 yuan for the service, the father said.

The detention house finally agreed to pay 15,000 yuan in compensation to the family and Zhi Guoyu's employer agreed to pay another 35,000 yuan - including 10 months of unpaid wages.

Though unwilling, the father had to take the money and go back home as the family was unable to afford the cost of staying on.


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