Thirty-year-old Tibetan blogger Amuchu – also known by her nickname Lamu – was followed by tens of thousands of fans on the social network Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok. She posted images of herself walking in the mountains, cooking, or singing in traditional Tibetan costumes. While addressing her followers live on the social network in September 2020, her ex-husband doused her with gasoline before setting her on fire. The victim died two weeks later in hospital from her burns.
The drama stirred up a lot of emotions in China and sparked a debate about domestic violence – in particular about the lack of punishment for violence in rural areas or among ethnic minorities. Amuchu had been separated from her abusive husband for three months at the time of the horrific incident. The latter has now been sentenced to death by a court in Aba, in southwestern Sichuan province, for first degree manslaughter. His crime “was extremely cruel and its effect on society terrible,” the court said in a statement.
After Amuchu’s death, millions of people on social networks demanded justice. The communist regime in China only criminalized domestic violence in 2016. Recently, Beijing amended the law on divorce and introduced a waiting period of one month before a divorce can be allowed. The measure is intended to combat impulsive divorces, but has been criticized because it could leave victims unnecessarily long in the clutches of their abusive husbands.