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Brutal Beating and Violation of an 8-Year-Old Gansu Girl by Classmates Stirs Discussions on Criminal Responsibility of Minors

Two minors and a teacher were involved in a violent incident, injuring an 8-year-old girl, yet nobody is punished.

Gabi Verberg

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A shocking case in which a 6- and 7-year-old boy attacked and sexually abused a fellow classmate has attracted much attention on Chinese social media. The fact that the boys, nor their teacher, will be punished for the incident is a cause of concern for many Chinese netizens.

The violent attack and sexual assault by two young boys on a female classmate has attracted wide attention on Chinese social media this week – especially because those involved are only eight years old and younger.

On January 13, the Ning County Public Security Bureau in Gansu Province came out with a statement about the incident, that occurred in the afternoon of December 14th. Two boys, 7- and 6-year-old respectively, beat up their 8-year-old classmate, pulled down her pants, and violated her with a broomstick.

According to the statement, the brutal assault followed after the girl had taken the eraser of one boy, and had not given back the one yuan ($0,15) she had borrowed from the other. The director and the vice-director of the school have since been suspended from their position.

The incident came to light after the girl had arrived home from school the day it had occurred. When the girl’s grandmother noticed something was wrong with her, she contacted the school and brought the young girl to the emergency room. She was later transferred to Xi’an Children’s hospital for further examination, where it was found that her genitals were seriously injured. She was released five days later to recover at home.

In a video published by Toutiao News, the grandmother of the little girl claims that, according to the girl, the teacher stood by as her classmates attacked her. That same teacher had accused the girl of stealing her lipstick earlier that day, but later on found the item in the teacher’s desk drawer.

The (former) director of the school has denied any involvement of the teacher in the incident. The Public Security Bureau has neither confirmed nor denied if there is any truth to the girl’s allegations.

On Chinese social media platform Weibo, many netizens question the teacher’s involvement in the matter. Soon after the official statement, the hashtag “Did You Take My Lipstick?” (#你拿我口红了吗#) reached over 50,000 views on Weibo. Meanwhile, the hashtag “Principal Dismissed after Gansu Girl Sustains Injuries” (#甘肃女孩受伤事件校长免职#) received over 260 million views.

In the comment sections, people asked questions about the possible relation between the ‘lipstick incident’ and the young boys attacking the girl in such a violent way.

One Weibo user wrote: “Where do such young children get the idea to get a broomstick and violate a girl? I have many children around me of that age, they do get into fights with each another, but I have never seen that kind of behavior before.” Another user pointed out: “How can it remain unnoticed if two boys pull down a girl’s pants and violate her with a broomstick? And how can it be that no teacher saw the girl using a big pile of tissues cleaning up her own blood!?”

Another aspect of this story that is at the center of online discussions is the fact that the two minors legally cannot be held responsible for their deeds. According to article 8 and 12 of China’s Public Security Administration laws, minors can only bear criminal responsibility from the age of 14 years.

According to Chinese media outlet The Observer, the Public Security Bureau did order the guardians of both boys to strictly discipline their children. According to law, the parents are liable for their children’s misconduct.

However, for many netizens, this doesn’t provide justice for the girl’s suffering. On Weibo, many people express their dissatisfaction with the legislation on minors, and criticize the law for not doing enough in protecting minor victims. In the eyes of many, the two boys should be punished severely.

On Weibo, one user wrote: “I can’t believe it, this law is implemented to protect minors, but who is protecting this minor victim!!?”

Some netizens take it a step further and wish the girl could take justice in her own hands. “I hope the little girl gets to take revenge on the boys, after all, they are all minors, and she can’t be punished according to the law,” a typical comment on Weibo said.

At time of writing, there has been no official statement yet about the girl’s wellbeing at this moment and whether or not she gets to be transferred to a different school.

By Gabi Verberg

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

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Gabi Verberg is a Business graduate from the University of Amsterdam who has worked and studied in Shanghai and Beijing. She now lives in Amsterdam and works as a part-time translator, with a particular interest in Chinese modern culture and politics.

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China Insight

Chinese Construction Worker Left Jobless after Exposing the Dangers of Flimsy Safety Helmets

No one seems willing to hire the day laborer after he exposed the substandard quality of workers’ helmets.

Gabi Verberg

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First published

A video of a Chinese construction worker showing the shocking difference in quality between the safety helmets of laborers versus those of their supervisors went viral on social media earlier this month. Chinese netizens praised the whistleblowers’ push for equal safety standards, but he is now left jobless and ignored.

On April 11, a Chinese day laborer by the name of Dou (窦) published a video on Kuaishou exposing the low-quality safety helmets for frontline construction workers.

In the video (embedded below), Dou shows two helmets. The yellow one, he claims, is the one worn by construction workers. The red one belongs to their supervisors. As he smashes the helmets together, Dou shows how the yellow one is immediately crushed, while the red one remains in perfect condition.

Dou’s message was simple and strong: the helmets worn by supervisors are of much higher quality than those of construction workers, exposing them to considerable dangers while working.

The video was viewed at least 100 million times and sparked major online discussions on the safety of Chinese construction workers before it was taken down from video platform Kuaishou on April 18.

At time of writing, the hashtag “The Contrast between the Safety Helmets of Workers and Supervisors” (#工人和领导安全帽对比#) has been viewed 250 million times on social media platform Weibo, where netizens have collectively expressed their sympathies for vulnerable laborers whose “safety first”, apparently, is not a priority at many construction sites.

The topic also made headlines in Chinese state media. State-owned broadcaster CCTV investigated the quality of Chinese safety helmets, and discovered that some available construction hats, priced as low as 4 RMB (0.59 U.S.$), did not meet safety standards.

A lawyer quoted by Global Times advocated that China’s relevant government departments should launch a campaign to crack down on “inferior helmets” and “clean up illegal products from the source.” The state-run newspaper also reported that workers wearing unsuitable helmets was “a norm in the construction industry,” according to an industry insider.

China’s Ministry of Emergency Management (中华人民共和国应急管理部) released a public statement on Weibo in response to the issue, reminding construction supervisors to abide by legal safety regulations.

But despite the overwhelming support for Dou, the day laborer is now left jobless and worried. In an interview with Chinese media outlet The Paper, Dou says that he can no longer find work since his video has gone viral: “I used to be able to find work every day,” he said: “Why can’t I find it now?”

In the interview, Dou suggests that his online fame over unequal safety helmet standards has made contractors afraid to hire him: “Even contractors that I used to work for are all declining my services.” The situation has left Dou, father to three children, in financial troubles that have forced him to return to his hometown.

When reporters asked Dou why his viral video and earlier videos exposing the flimsy quality of construction hats were taken offline, he reportedly answered: “I need to live.” Perhaps hoping to prevent further exclusion from the construction job market, Dou also claimed he had purchased the helmets in the video himself, and that his employer was not to blame.

 

In the first few years of our lives we learn how to speak, and then we spend the rest of our lives learning to stay quiet.”

 

News of Dou’s predicament has attracted the attention of netizens. Earlier this week, the hashtag “Flimsy Safety Helmet Man Responds” (#脆皮安全帽当事人回应#) received more than 180 million views on Weibo, with many commenters expressing their worries over Dou’s situation after addressing serious workplace safety issues.

One Weibo commenter wrote: “If this [unemployment] is the price you pay for speaking the truth, then who is willing to do so in the future?!” Another Weibo user wrote: “If you have nothing to hide, you’d have no problem hiring him.”

“In the first few years of our lives we learn how to speak, and then we spend the rest of our lives learning to stay quiet,” another commenter wrote.

Despite the public outcry against the injustice suffered by Dou, there are also those who point out that social media discussions can have an actual impact.

Some netizens referred to another incident that occurred last weekend when a video of a woman sitting on the hood of a brand-new Mercedes-Benz went viral.

The woman had just purchased the Mercedes, and as the car was still standing in the showroom, it was leaking oil. After the dealer told her that she had to pay for the repairs, she climbed on the hood of the vehicle and, in tears, refused to get down.

A video of her protest immediately went viral, and millions from all over the country expressed their support for the woman. In light of the public controversy, Mercedes launched an investigation and suspended the showroom for violating regulations.

On Weibo, many people take the Mercedes incident as an example of how justice can prevail as long as netizens unite. But whether the power of social media will also have a positive outcome for Dou is yet uncertain. “He probably won’t be able to find any work for the time to come,” some Weibo users predict.

UPDATE 25 APRIL: Shortly after publishing this article, the hashtag “Flimsy Safety Helmet Man Finds Work” (#脆皮安全帽当事人已找到工作#) has taken off on social media platform Weibo. Dou has received the help of a friend in finding work at a local construction site in Qingdao, the same city where he previously worked.

By Gabi Verberg, Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

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China Local News

Massive Fire Breaks Out Near Qipan Mountain in Shenyang

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In the afternoon of April 17, local time, a massive fire broke out near Qipan Mountain in the city of Shenyang in China’s northeast Liaoning Province.

Videos circulating on Chinese social media show how thick clouds of black smoke could be seen from a distance.

News sources on Weibo say the fire broke out earlier in the afternoon and was soon spreading due to strong winds in the area.

People’s Daily reports that over 1300 people are currently involved in a major operation to clear the area and fight the fire, including some 300 people from the fire department and 500 military staff.

The hashtag “Shenyang Qipan Mountain on Fire” (#沈阳棋盘山着火#) was one of the top trending topics on Chinese social media by Wednesday night.

Qipan Mountain is the biggest natural scenic zone in Shenyang, covering 190 square kilometers. According to China Daily, the zone includes plant and animal reserves, a water sports area, a ski area, a hunting area, and a villa area.

At time of writing, there are no sources confirming what caused the fire and if it is under control yet.

The nearby Shenyang Zoo, however, did confirm on Weibo that the fire had not spread to its area and that the necessary emergency measures were taken to protect the wellbeing of their animals.

Many netizens expressed their concerns over the safety of the animals earlier in the day. Photos of animals being burnt in the fire were refuted and labeled as ‘fake news.’

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please email us.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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What’s on Weibo provides social, cultural & historical insights into an ever-changing China. What’s on Weibo sheds light on China’s digital media landscape and brings the story behind the hashtag. This independent news site is managed by sinologist Manya Koetse. Contact info@whatsonweibo.com. ©2014-2018

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