World

China man convicted of killing mum's ah long stirs debate

BEIJING: The case of a man who killed a debt collector in defence of his mother has sparked heated debate in China, as an appeal court decides whether to uphold his life sentence.

Social media erupted after 22-year-old Yu Huan was convicted of stabbing to death a man who had beaten and humiliated his mother.

Some netizens saw his actions as a justified response when police - often seen as weak or corrupt - failed to step in. Others have insisted that Yu should serve his full term according to the law.

Public fury has reached such a fever pitch that China's highest investigation agency has opened a rare probe into the incident.

Court documents said that Yu Huan's mother, Ms Su Yinxia, borrowed more than one million yuan (S$202,400) for her auto parts manufacturing company from a local real estate developer.

10% INTEREST

She told police she had paid him back 1.5 million yuan in instalments. But the 10 per cent monthly interest payments made it difficult for her to get out of her debt.

The developer, who has reportedly been detained by police for connections to organised crime, sent loan collectors to Ms Su's factory in April 2015, where they began yelling at her and her son.

A police officer arrived but only issued a mild warning.

After he left, a fight erupted. Yu pulled out a fruit knife and stabbed four men. One eventually died from blood loss. Yu was convicted and sentenced to life.

Much of the discussion has centred on whether China's rule of law has deteriorated to the extent that children need to step in to protect their parents.

It is a sticky issue for the government, which has promoted filial piety as part of a nation-wide push on traditional values. - AFP

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