Foxconn worker commits suicide, factory abuse suspected

Summary:The 18-year-old male resolves to die by jumping twice off the same building, succeeding at the second attempt. Saddened family questions if he was abused while working for Foxconn.

After 40 days working in Foxconn's Shenzhen factory, a 18-year-old male twice jumped off the same hotel building to commit suicide, according to a local newspaper's report.

The man, only identified as Li, tried to kill himself by leaping out of the stairwell window between the third and fourth floor in a hotel in Shenzhen around 5.30pm on Dec. 10, 2012. The local police said that he was likely caught by the advertising board and survived the first fall, but then he went to a higher level in the same building to jump again.

After hearing two bangs, the hotel staff found Li lying prone and bleeding outside the hotel front gate. Suffering from severe brain injury and skull fracture, he was then rushed to a local hospital emergency room but was later pronounced dead.

"He called me the night before and said that he did not want to work for Foxconn anymore. But he refused to tell me why," said Li's aunt. She asked him to come back to Hunan--his hometown province--if he was not happy working in Shenzhen.

"We are appalled and saddened by the tragedy," said Foxconn's spokesperson. "Every deceased employee means a loss to us. But they are free individuals and we are not able to monitor their every move."

The autopsy showed that Li's right eye was bruised before the jump, and the family questioned Foxconn on whether he was abused and what exactly drove the young man to his death.

In reply, Foxconn said Li was never abused or bullied and was negotiating a 600,000 yuan (US$96,000) compensation deal with the family.

Topics: Tech Industry, China

About

Liu Jiayi is a Hong Kong-based writer and editor.He produces video stories for Al Jazeera English and Severn News Australia, and also worked as the video editor for the Hong Kong-San Francisco Ocean Film Festival 2012. He is studying under a Master of Journalism Programme at the University of Hong Kong.

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