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CAIXIN MEDIA, CHINA DAILY (China), CHINA TIMES (Taiwan)

Worldcrunch

YONGZHOU - Six years ago an 11-year-old girl was raped and forced into prostitution in Yongzhou, Hunan province. It took three months for the victim’s mother to rescue her. After three judgments, the Hunan Provincial Higher People's Court has given a final verdict on the seven accused, among which Qin Xing and Zhou Junhui were sentenced to death and five others were sentenced to life imprisonment, the China Times reported.

However, according to the China Times, the victim’s mother, Tang Hui (a pseudonym), was unhappy with the way law enforcement handled the case and repeatedly petitioned authorities about this. Last week, the Yongzhou Public Security decided to send her to a camp, to bereeducated through labor for “seriously disturbing institutional as well as social order.” The case has set off a public outcry and caused uproar on the Internet.

In 2006, Tang’s 11-year-old daughter Lele was raped and forced into prostitution by a gang for three months. When Tang finally managed to rescue her daughter and tried to resort to justice, the local police refused for two months to handle her complaint- they only did so when Tang Hui threatened to commit suicide.

Though the shocking case received a final ruling in June, Tang also wanted police officers on the case to be punished for their misconduct. She has repeatedly petitioned authorities on this point.

According to Caxin media, Tang Hui was sent to the Hunan Province Women's Forced Labor Camp to be reeducated for 18 months on the grounds that her complaints to various governmental institutions had “seriously disturbed the institutional as well as social order and this has resulted in an acute and bad social impact.”

Tang’s story caused a huge public outcry. Many people and scholars have expressed their concerns about the Yongzhou Public Security Bureau’s decision to detain her. Many internet users used their Weibo micro blogging accounts to demand Tang Hui’s immediate release.

Fan Zhongxin, a law professor at the Hangzhou Normal University, said in an interview with Caixin media that Tang Hui’s behavior was “the exercise of her legitimate rights.” The Yongzhou Public Security Bureau’s decision to send her to be reeducated, “has broken the bottom line of people's expectations of the rule of law and has subverted the conscience of the legal system in people’s mind.”

Fan Zhongxin also said that “China's reeducation through labor system is a typical draconian law.” The system “is regulated in the name of administrative punishment, but in essence it is exercised as a criminal penalty.”

“This process lacks of a formal trial procedure and normal access to a defense lawyer or legal aid. The police can directly decide to deprive citizens of their personal freedom. This is rare in the world,” added Fan Zhongxin.

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Coronavirus

Chinese Students' "Absurd" Protest Against COVID Rules: Public Crawling

While street demonstrations have spread in China to protest the strict Zero-COVID regulations, some Chinese university students have taken up public acts of crawling to show what extended harsh lockdowns are doing to their mental state.

​Screenshot of a video showing Chinese students crawling on a soccer pitch

Screenshot of a video showing Chinese students crawling

Shuyue Chen

Since last Friday, the world has watched as a wave of street protests have taken place across China as frustration against extended lockdowns reached boiling point. But even before protesters took to the streets, Chinese university students had begun a public demonstration that challenges and humiliates the state's zero-COVID rules in a different way: public displays of crawling as an absurd expression of their repressed anger under three years of strict pandemic control.

Xin’s heart beat fast when her knees reached the ground. It was her first time joining the strange scene at the university sports field, so she put on her hat and face mask to cover her identity.

Kneeling down, with her forearms supporting her body from the ground, Xin started crawling with three other girls as a group, which was part of a larger demonstration. As they crawled on, she felt the sense of fear and shame start to disappear. It was replaced by a liberating sense of joy, which had been absent in her life as a university student in lockdown for so long.

Crawling has become a popular activity among Chinese university students recently. There have been posters and videos of "volunteer crawling" across universities in China. At first, it was for the sake of "fun." Xin, like many who participated, thought it was a "cult-like ritual" in the beginning, but she changed her mind. "You don't care about anything when crawling, not thinking about the reason why, what the consequences are. You just enjoy it."

The reality out there for Chinese university students has been grim. For Xin, her university started daily COVID-19 testing in November, and deliveries, including food, are banned. Apart from the school gate, all exits have been padlock sealed.

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