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Onlookers detained for encouraging woman to kill self

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A woman in China who eventually killed herself after being encouraged by onlookers has sparked heated online discussions.

The 19-year-old woman surnamed Li from Qingyang, Northwest China's Gansu Province, died after jumping off a building on Wednesday. Onlookers who witnessed Li about to jump allegedly encouraged her to do so and allegedly laughed after she had died, Beijing-based news website btime.com reported on Monday.

Multiple onlookers who were "disrespectful to life" were taken into custody. Local authorities said investigations will continue, the website reported.

The incident sparked heated discussions among Chinese netizens, with many of them slamming the onlookers as merciless and indifferent.

"The onlookers who amused themselves were the ones who extinguished the last hope in the woman's heart," a netizen said on Sina Weibo.

A Beijing News editorial on Monday raised the possibility of making the onlookers accountable for Li's death, asking if their actions may have induced Li to jump, or disrupted rescue attempts by police and firefighters.

Li suffered from depression after she was allegedly sexually harassed by her middle-school teacher surnamed Wu in 2016. She had attempted suicide multiple times before, according to Li's father, Beijing Youth Daily reported on Monday.

Wu was demoted and received disciplinary action after the alleged sexual harassment, the newspaper quoted a local education bureau staff member as saying.

Li's father claimed that he did not know how Wu was sanctioned. He also refused compensation of 35,000 yuan ($5,350) from the school in 2016, which asked him to waive his right to sue the teacher, the newspaper reported.

Netizens also questioned how Wu was handled, as they believe he is the one who caused Li to kill herself.



 



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