Chinese media have censored reports relating to three women who attempted to commit suicide at the Tiananmen East metro station. The trio had sought to file petitions after losing money in phone scams, though their efforts were ineffective.

Petitions, particularly those which are lodged in Beijing, are often the last resort for Chinese citizens who are seeking justice or assistance from the government. The chances of petitioners having their grievances addressed are also slim.

The three women lie on the ground after ingesting pesticide. Photo: RFA.

Reports appeared on Wednesday but were censored in Chinese media by Thursday. An article on the Beijing News website, which reported on the matter, generated a “404 Not Found” error soon after it was published.

The three, who were from Jiangsu, drank pesticide and were found lying on the floor of the subway station. Three brown bottles and pools of liquid were found next to them.

They were later taken to three different hospitals: Beijing Hospital, Beijing Tongren Hospital, and Peking Union Medical College Hospital. They received treatment to flush the pesticides out of their system.

Beijing Tongren Hospital. Photo: Beijing Zidian.

The Peking Union Medical College told Beijing News that the woman who ingested the pesticide had signs of bleeding in her stomach, and her condition was being monitored. The other hospitals told the paper that the other women were in stable condition.

One of the women involved, surnamed Han, told the paper that she was scammed out of RMB170,000 (HK$190,635) and her husband had cancer. She could not find a place which would look into her complaint, and thus drank the pesticide with the other two women, who were also cheated out of money.


Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.