Lamu: the case of the popular Chinese vlogger doused with live gasoline for which her ex-husband was sentenced to death

Lamu: the case of the popular Chinese vlogger doused with live gasoline for which her ex-husband was sentenced to death

Photo: DOUYIN / LAMU / Courtesy

The way the video blogger Chinese Lamu was killed was described by a court as “extremely cruel.”

The Tibetan woman had hundreds of thousands of followers on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, for her popular videos about rural life.

While she was broadcasting live, her ex-husband, Tang Lu, doused it with gasoline and set it on fire. She died on September 30, 2020, after spending weeks hospitalized for the burns on the 90% of your body.

For this crime, a court issued a death sentence against Tang, calling the crime “extremely cruel and with extremely bad social impact.”

The case caused outrage in China and sparked a renewed debate about the violence many women suffer in their marriages.

Who was Lamu?

Known only as Lamu, the woman passed away in her 30s.

He attracted nearly 800,000 followers for his upbeat posts about the simple style of rural life that he shared on the Douyin platform.

Her videos showed her searching for food in the mountains, cooking and doing funny skits of songs dressed in traditional Tibetan clothing.

His publications accumulated more than 6.3 million “likes”.

Video of Lamu in Douyin

Douyin / Lamu

She was married to Tang, who according to the court had a history of violence against her.

The attack

Various reports indicate that Lamu approached the police repeatedly to denounce the violence suffered by her husband, but the officers told her that the violence was a “family affair.”

The couple divorced in June 2020.

However, the young woman returned to him after Tang threatened to kill one of his sons. The violence did not stop, so he separated a second time and obtained custody of both children.

After almost three months since the separation, the attack with gasoline and fire occurred while the young woman was making a broadcast at her father’s house.

The demands of justice

After his death, tens of thousands of his followers left messages on his Douyin page, while millions of Weibo platform users called for justice using hashtags which were later censored.

The court in Aba prefecture, a remote rural area in southwestern Sichuan province where large numbers of Tibetans live, said Tang deserved a “severe punishment” according to the law.

The man was arrested, tried and sentenced to capital punishment.

A poster on domestic violence in Beijing

Getty Images
Domestic violence has been a topic of debate in recent years in China.

China criminalized domestic violence in 2016, but it is a problem that still widespread, especially in rural areas.

Approximately a quarter of married women have suffered domestic abuseaccording to a 2013 study by the China Women’s Federation.

Some activists fear that a recently introduced mandatory 30-day “cooling off” period for couples wishing to divorce could make it more difficult for women to leave abusive relationships.

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