A group of teenagers has been arrested for beating up a man and burying his comatose body in Yongchang County in the Chinese province of Gansu last month.
In a statement on Tuesday, Gansu province police announced the arrest of eight teenagers connected to the murder of a 21-year-old man known only as Mao.
The incident reportedly occurred in Yongchang County between July 29 and July 30 when a 14-year-old boy identified by the name Guo beat up Mao. Reports claimed that Mao was “following” Guo’s girlfriend around after he was introduced to her.
Guo eventually asked seven accomplices, six of whom were later discovered to be “street gangsters,” to help him beat up Mao. The group then proceeded with their plan while a girl allegedly filmed the act and later posted the video on Chinese social media on Aug. 8.
After Mao slipped into a coma, the group took his body and buried it on a hillside, according to reports. His lifeless body was eventually found by authorities on Aug. 1 in a shallow grave after his mother reported him missing on July 30. The police are now investigating the case as a homicide.
Guo and his seven accomplices were reportedly arrested on the same day Mao’s body was found.
In 2020, China lowered the age of criminal punishment from 14 to 12. Under Article 232
of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, whoever is found guilty of committing homicide shall face the death penalty, life imprisonment or a “fixed-term imprisonment of no less than 10 years.”
“The rationale of the law is to protect mentally immature minors and give them the opportunities to get back on their feet following rehabilitation. However, in extreme cases, the light punishments will make it difficult to protect the victim,” Wu Jing, a partner at Beijing Jiaji Law Firm, told Sixth Tone.
Wu also added that the perpetrators involved in the Mao case could likely receive a life imprisonment sentence as the harshest punishment since people under the age of 18 in China cannot face the death penalty.