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Man sentenced to death for killing his ex-wife with fire during live stream

Man sentenced to death for killing his ex-wife with fire during live stream
A court has sentenced a man to death who killed Lhamo, a popular Tibetan video blogger on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok. File Photo by Alex Plavevski/EPA-EFE

Oct. 14 (UPI) -- A court has sentenced a man to death for murder by setting his ex-wife on fire while she was live streaming on China's form of TikTok last year.

The 30-year-old Tibetan video blogger and mother of two, who used the name Lhamo on Douyin, China's version of TikTok, was a social media star with hundreds of thousands of followers on her broadcast in Jinchuan County of Sichuan Province, the South China Morning Post and The Guardian reported.

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Ex-husband Tang Lu brutally set her on fire while she was doing a live stream from her father's home on Sept. 14, 2020, the court said, and she died from the injuries half a month later.

The homicide was "extremely cruel," the social impact, "extremely bad," and the crime "extremely serious," the court added.

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The murder followed Lhamo refusing to remarry Tang, whom she divorced in June 2020 after around 11 years of marriage during which Tang repeatedly assaulted her.

After her death, China's President Xi Jinping gave a speech to a United Nations conference, saying the protection of women's rights and interests "must become a national commitment."

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Chinese singer Tan Weiwei referred to Lhamo's death, among other high-profile cases of domestic violence against women, in a song.

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Lhamo's death caught the nation's attention partly due to her social media profile, but also because she died after the enactment of a law to strengthen the definition of domestic violence to also include emotional abuse and apply to non-family members who live together, Lu Xiaoquan told The Guardian.

"The Chinese public has understood domestic violence better," Lu said. "There are fewer people who think domestic violence is a 'family matter.'"

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