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2021-10-14 12:05:43

A man was sentenced to death Thursday in southwest China’s Sichuan province for intentionally killing his ex-wife. The killing set off a wave of anger over domestic abuse on Chinese social media.

Tang Lu, a villager in Jinchuan County in the Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, was arrested by local police last September for murdering his ex-wife, a livestreamer who went by the name Lhamo on short-video app Douyin. Tang set Lhamo, born Amuchu, on fire during one of her livestreams.

She was severely wounded by Tang’s attack and died two weeks later in a local hospital. Tang was also severely burned, according to local media.

Tang Lu during the court in Wenchuan, Sichuan province, Oct. 14, 2021. From @人民网 on Weibo

Tang Lu during the court in Wenchuan, Sichuan province, Oct. 14, 2021. From @人民网 on Weibo

On Thursday, the Intermediate People’s Court of Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture found Tang guilty of intentionally killing Lhamo and sentenced him to the death penalty and “lifetime deprivation of political rights.”

In an interview with Beijing News, Lhamo’s older sister Droma said that the family had hoped for Tang to get the death penalty and that she would fight for the custody of Lhamo’s two sons. Tang’s parents are currently taking care of both children.

The horrific killing sparked a public outcry online last year over authorities’ failure to protect Lhamo, who reportedly repeatedly sought help before her death. Droma told domestic media earlier that Tang constantly abused her during their marriage and threatened her life after their divorce.

A popular account on microblogging platform Weibo called “I am Luosheng” called for a “Lhamo Act” to enhance penalties and push law enforcement to better protect domestic violence victims.

A related hashtag on Weibo trended Thursday afternoon, with over 85 million views.

“There is a woman abused to death by domestic violence behind this incident. What is the next step? Will there be clearer protections for women trapped in domestic violence in the future?” stated one popular comment under the hashtag.

A county official told Sixth Tone in an earlier interview that Lhamo came from an impoverished family. Her older son now receives a monthly subsidy of 900 yuan ($140) as a de facto orphan, according to The Paper, Sixth Tone’s sister publication.

Editor: David Cohen.

(Header image: A portrait of Lhamo. From Weibo)