Close on the heels of a string of custody deaths in the country, another inmate died under mysterious circumstances at a detention house in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, the Wuhan-based Chutian Metropolis News reported yesterday.
Though authorities said Li Wenyan, 50, died "after having a nightmare", doctors detected bruises on his forehead, causing Li's family to suspect foul play.
According to officials at the detention house, Li cried out loud "while having a nightmare" in the wee hours of March 27. "His heart rate slowed down and was rushed to the hospital, where he died," they said.
Zhu Shigen, head of the detention house, said investigations were on to find out about the injuries on Li's forehead.
Li was detained in January on suspicion of stealing electric cables with two accomplices.
Zhu said Li's health had deteriorated ever since his stay at the detention house, and had "fainted a few times" before his death.
Li's family has requested for an autopsy to find out the real cause of his death.
Thirteen suspects who shared a cell with Li have been separately detained for further investigation, the newspaper said.
(China Daily 04/02/2009 page4)