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Guizhou Reporter Freed After Exposing Boys' Deaths

The man who first reported the death of five boys in Guizhou province on November 17th has been allowed to return home. But Li Yuanlong no longer appears to be free to speak his mind. 2012-11-27 03:11 PM EST
The man who first reported the death of five listbytag_boys.html">boys in Guizhou province on November 17th has been allowed to return home. But Li Yuanlong no longer appears to be free to speak his mind.

 

[Li Yuanlong, Recently Detained Citizen Reporter]:

"It's hard to say, it's all in the past, I'm not in a position to say much else because I've received a lot of pressure."

 

Li's son confirmed on Monday that state-security officials forced Li to take a "holiday" after he reported the deaths. Now, even though Li's back home, he remains under their surveillance.

 

Despite the treatment he received at the hands of authorities, Li is glad to have exposed the issue.

 

[Li Yuanlong, Recently Detained Citizen Reporter]:

"Without the reporting, this case would not have gained so much attention. In the end, I have achieved what I wanted with what I wrote."

 

The five boys, aged between 9 and 13-years-old were cousins who had died inside a dumpster from carbon monoxide poisoning. They had lit a fire during the night to keep warm.

 

The news spread quickly on the Chinese internet and sparked nationwide outrage. It also cast light on China's growing wealth gap. 

 

Eight officials were sacked or suspended after the boys' deaths. Within two days, Guizhou authorities also managed to set aside nearly $10 million for what they say will address the plight of street kids.

 

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