Court in China awarded a death sentence to a man after finding him guilty of killing his ex-wife by setting her on fire while she was livestreaming on social media.
The incident took place in September last year when Tibetan vlogger Lhamo was live-streaming a video and her former husband Tang Lu appeared in front of the camera, doused her in petrol and burnt her alive, The Independent reported.
The case resulted in nationwide outrage and shone a spotlight on domestic violence against women in China.
The 30-year-old mother of two, who was known as Lhamo on China’s version of TikTok, was reportedly a social media star with hundreds of thousands of followers.
According to state media, Lhamo had divorced Tang twice and her family said that from March to June of 2020, she called the police and the local branch of China’s All Women’s Federation several times to complain against her ex-husband as he was abusing her.
However, reports quoted officers saying that it was a “family matter”.
The victim’s sister, who also uses only one name, Dolma, said that after the couple’s first divorce, Tang had threatened to harm the children and her family if she did not remarry him, another report by the Wall Street Journal said.
Following this, both Lhamo and Tang remarried late that month but again filed for divorce in May after she was physically assaulted, reports said.
However, Tang received custody of the couple’s children.
According to a statement from a court in Sichuan province, when Lhamo refused to marry Tang a third time, he poured petrol on her and set her on fire as she was livestreaming to social-media followers in her kitchen, the Independent reported. She died two weeks after treatment in hospital.
Lhamo, who had used her account on Douyin, China’s version of TikTok, to sell farm products through videos and livestreaming, had repeatedly been beaten by Tang since they first married in 2009, the court said.
“His crime was extremely cruel and the social impact was extremely bad,” the court statement said, calling for “severe punishment” in accordance with the law.
Women in the country said that the case highlighted a lack of protection for them in abusive marriages, including obstacles to getting a divorce, and demanded better protection.