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A Chinese man who set his wife ablaze during a live-stream to her online followers has been given a death sentence. This murder case received a lot of attention across China.


Lhamo, 30, was the victim who was a live streamer and a farmer in Sichuan province. She was live streaming a video when a man came in and poured petrol on her and set her on fire. Lhamo died two weeks after the incident.


Tang Lu was her ex-husband. He was arrested and prosecuted in court where he was found guilty of homicide and sentenced to death. He was also ordered to pay compensation according to CCTV.


The court found that the crime was “extremely cruel” and “deserves severe punishment”. Tang Lu had historically abused Lhamo physically. He would beat her numerous times which lead to their divorce in June 2020. Afterwards, he requested to remarry her but his advances were declined. Then he murdered her.


The national and international media covered the story extensively. This story raised a lot of attention on gender-based violence in China. The Chinese citizens argued that China’s legal system often fails to protect victims while at the same time pardoning perpetrators of domestic violence.


Women and activists expressed their concerns that in China domestic disputes are considered to be a private problem to be solved by the families involved. This explains why the authorities are not quick to get involved. Women also are stigmatized when they speak out. Abuse was not considered a ground for divorce in China until 2001 when the marriage laws were amended.


China only enacted a national law making it legal to engage in domestic violence in 2015. This was the first time a law clearly defined what is domestic physical violence.


However, the law does not address same-sex couples and does not even mention sexual violence.


“Intentional assault is intentional assault, and homicide is homicide, regardless of the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim,” said one Weibo user, with the comment gaining more than 24,700 likes.


Many users on the social media platform expressed their support for Tang’s death sentence.


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