Many in China suspect foul play in woman's death

Beijing, May 13 (EFE).- The release of a surveillance video showing a 22-year-old woman hours before she was found dead at a Beijing market appeared Monday to have done little to dispel skepticism in China about authorities' claim that she committed suicide.

The video images were broadcast by state television Sunday night and there the woman can be seen walking through the Jing Wen market.

Her body was discovered May 3 in the market's parking lot.

The death sparked immediate controversy after the police quickly closed the case saying that it was a suicide and without wanting to show the videotape to the woman's relatives.

That motivated hundreds of people to take to the streets in Beijing - many of them migrants from the dead woman's home province of Anhui - to demand that the case be reopened.

Members of the public suspect that the woman was kidnapped by market security guards, possibly raped and then thrown from one of the building's windows.

"After the autopsy, we can confirm that the young woman committed suicide by jumping from the building," the Beijing Public Safety Department said a day after the protests, going on to rule out the possibility that the deceased woman was raped or murdered.

Commenters on Weibo, China's version of Twitter, said that the clothing on the woman in the video does not match what she was wearing in photos taken and distributed by people who saw her at the market.

In the video, a young woman wearing a white dress and a denim jacket is strolling through the market's corridors at night and alone, while in the photos taken by witnesses the deceased appears wearing a dark-colored dress.

The protest in Beijing - an unusual occurrence in the capital due to the heavy government control of social activities of that kind - not only highlights the dead woman's case but also the situation of migrants in China who are quite marginalized in the large cities.