A man who murdered his ex-wife last year by setting her on fire, all while she was livestreaming, has heard his fate in a Chinese intermediate people's court. The Shanghai Daily reports Tang Lu was on Thursday convicted of killing 30-year-old Lhamo, a vlogger and social media influencer, while she was at her father's home three months after the couple had divorced; Tang was sentenced to death. Per the South China Morning Post, on Sept. 14, 2020, Tang threw gasoline on his ex then set her ablaze as the camera continued recording.
Lhamo, a mother of two, succumbed to her injuries two weeks later. Tang and Lhamo's relationship had long been contentious, with Tang starting to beat his wife not long after they were married in 2009. Tang was said to have dislocated her shoulder once after a poker game, as well as punched her in the face, breaking her jaw. At Tang's trial, Lhamo's sister Dolma told the court the vlogger had gone to the cops two times, but they ignored her pleas over this "family matter." Lhamo also tried to flee from her husband, but when he said he'd kill their two young sons, she went back—only to file for divorce again when the beatings started back up.
Their divorce was finalized in late June 2020, but Tang apparently wanted to marry her again; she repeatedly rebuffed his efforts. Detractors have railed against the authorities for not doing enough to help Lhamo, as well as against Chinese law for lagging on its treatment of domestic violence. One new mandate in specific has come under fire lately: a law introduced in January that says a couple that's submitted a divorce application has to undergo a 30-day "cooling off" period before the application will be put through. Critics contend many women will end up trapped in abusive or otherwise unhappy couplings.
Meanwhile, activists applauded Tang's sentence for what the court called his "extremely cruel" crime, per state broadcaster CCTV. Last week, before the sentence was handed down, Lhamo's sister said she simply wanted justice. "I am sorry, this is all I can do for you right now," Dolma said on the Chinese version of TikTok. "Please rest in peace, my little sister." (Read more murder stories.)