China paper's sorry for pics of dead singer
A CHINESE newspaper issued an apology early yesterday for taking photos of a popular singer after she had died on Friday from breast cancer at a hospital in Shenzhen.
The Shenzhen Evening News issued the apology to the family, friends and fans of singer Yao Beina, 33, on its official Sina Weibo account.
"We sincerely apologise for the disturbance and discomfort we have caused to Yao's family, fans and netizens," the Shenzhen Evening News wrote.
The statement confirmed that the paper's reporters had entered the makeshift operating room to take photos as doctors took the corneas from the dead singer at about 7pm on Friday. Reporters deleted all photos at the scene when Yao's family voiced their objection, the statement said.
The statement also said that the paper, together with four partners, decided to withdraw an initiative to establish a foundation in the name of Yao, after opposition from her father. The newspaper also promised that it would refund the first two donations it had received.
The incident was first reported early on Saturday by a microblogger, Entertainment Whistleblower, on Sina Weibo. The microblogger wrote that three reporters with the newspaper had slipped into the mortuary disguised as medical workers and took photos of the dead singer without the permission of Yao's family.
By noon, the news had been shared more than 10,000 times, with thousands of comments criticising the newspaper's unethical actions.
Yao, who sang the theme song for the popular TV drama Empresses In The Palace, became famous in China after she appeared in the reality talent show The Voice Of China in 2013.
She had her left breast removed in 2011 after being diagnosed with breast cancer, and earned praise from her fans when she decided that she would donate her corneas.
One of her corneas was transplanted on Saturday evening to a 23-year-old man from Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture in Sichuan province. Her other cornea went to a 25-year-old man in Shenzhen.
CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK