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Public Shaming of Drug Users in Guangdong: “Drug-Related Crimes in Family” Painted on Houses

Many netizens say this kind of public shaming reminds them of the days of the Cultural Revolution.

Chauncey Jung

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In a local anti-drugs campaign, at least ten households in a Guangdong village were publicly shamed by having the words “Drug Crimes in Family” sprayed on their walls or doors this week, leading to much commotion on Chinese social media.

The local authorities in a village in Huilai county, in the east of Guangdong province, organized a remarkable anti-drug campaign earlier this week; a team of Huilai law enforcement was ordered to go out and spray the words “Drug-Related Crimes in Family” (涉毒家庭) on the houses or doors of households where one or members have faced drug-related charges.

According to Sina Guangdong (@新浪广东) on Weibo, at least ten houses in the county were marked as “Drug Households.”

The new anti-drugs campaign, that uses public shaming as a way to warn others not to use drugs, has caused some commotion on Weibo, where many people did not agree with the strategy.

A main argument against the strategy is that people find it unfair that the families of drug offenders are also shamed, saying it is a case of “lián zuò” (连坐), “to treat as guilty those associated with an offender.”

Others find the strategy itself crude and out-dated. “How is this different from the old society?” some wondered, with many netizens connecting this strategy to the movements of the 1960s and 1970s in China.

During the Cultural Revolution, it was common for people to be publicly shamed for their alleged crimes, sometimes by wearing derogatory signs around their necks.

“This is fighting evil with evil,” one among thousands of commenters noted, using the Chinese concept of yǐdú gōngdú (以毒攻毒), literally meaning “to use a drugs/poison to cure a drugs/poison.”

“I won’t even discuss whether this is reasonable or not – is it even legal?” another commenter wondered.

Some Chinese gangs also paint people’s doors or walls with red paint to threaten and intimidate them.

When gangs use paint as a way to intimidate.

By now, local authorities have responded to the online commotion on the public shaming campaign.

According to People’s Daily, a staff member from the Anti-Drug Office in Huilai County has stated that people had “realized it [the spraying] was inappropriate,” and that the removal of the slogans had already begun by yesterday night.

By Chauncey Jung and Manya Koetse

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

©2018 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Chauncey Jung is a China internet specialist who who previously worked for various Chinese internet companies in Beijing. Jung completed his BA and MA education in Canada (Univ. of Toronto & Queen's), and has a strong interest in Chinese trends, technology, economic developments and social issues.

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China Local News

Boy, 15, Fatally Beaten and Buried by Group of Minors in Shaanxi

The heinous crime has sparked discussions on the problem of campus violence and China’s criminal liability age.

Manya Koetse

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A brutal incident that took place in the city of Xingping in Shaanxi province is top trending on Chinese social media today.

On October 29, a 15-year-old boy by the name of Yuan (袁) was fatally beaten and buried by a group of six people, all minors.

Beijing News reports that Yuan was a second-year student at the Xianyang Xingping Jincheng Middle School. He had taken time off from school and had a temporary job in Xi’an before the incident occurred.

Yuan’s father told reporters that his son had returned to Xingping on October 29. A small group of minors, including four students, allegedly demanded money from Yuan, which he refused. It is also reported that a conflict occurred because Yuan added one of the minors to his phone’s ‘blacklist’ (电话拉黑).

According to various news reports, the group of minors attacked the boy with a pickaxe after which he became unconscious. They then brought him over to a nearby hotel and discovered he was dead the next day. They later buried his lifeless body in a pit near the school premises.

The location where Yuan’s body was buried, photo by Beijing News.

On November 2, other students who had heard of the crime reported it to the police. Yuan’s body was found in the pit shortly after officers arrived at the scene.

Local authorities released a statement about the case on November 10, in which they stated the suspects have been detained and that the case is still under investigation.

Various sources on Weibo claim that Yuan previously also suffered beatings at school, with severe school bullying being the main reason for the 15-year-old to temporarily drop out of school.

In a video report by Pear Video, Yuan’s father says they are still unsure of how their son died, suggesting he might have still been alive when he was buried in the pit.

China has been dealing with an epidemic of school violence for years. In 2016, Chinese netizens already urged authorities to address the problem of extreme bullying in schools, partly because minors under the age of 16 rarely face criminal punishment for their actions.

On social media site Weibo and on the news app Toutiao, many commenters are not just angered about the incident but also focus on China’s laws regarding the criminal responsibility of minors.

Some write: “Our criminal laws for minors should protect minors instead of protecting juvenile offenders!”

China’s criminal liability age is currently set at 14. Last month, Global Times reported on a proposal to lower the age of criminal liability in China from 14 to 12 in response to concerns about an alleged increase in juvenile violence.

“These minors need to be severely punished,” multiple commenters wrote: “Who knows who else they might hurt?”

By Manya Koetse

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©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Food & Drinks

Viral Video Exposes Wuhan Canteen Kitchen Food Malpractices

Boots in the food bowl, meat from the floor: this Wuhan college canteen is making a food safety mess.

Manya Koetse

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A video that exposes the poor food hygiene inside the kitchen of a Wuhan college canteen has been making its rounds on Chinese social media these days.

The video shows how a kitchen staff member picks up meat from the floor to put back in the tray, and how another kitchen worker uses rain boots to ‘wash’ vegetables in a big bowl on the ground, while another person is smoking.

The video was reportedly shot by someone visiting the canteen of the Wuhan Donghu University (武汉东湖学院) and was posted on social media on November 7.

According to various news sources, including Toutiao News, the school has confirmed that the video was filmed in their canteen, stating that those responsible for the improper food handling practices have now been fired.

The Wuhan Donghu University also posted a statement on their Weibo account on November 8, saying it will strengthen the supervision of its canteen food handling practices.

“The students at this school will probably vomit once they see this footage,” some commenters on Weibo wrote.

Wuhan Donghu University is an undergraduate private higher education institution established in 2000. The school has approximately 16,000 full-time undergraduate students.

“I’m afraid that this is just the tip of the iceberg,” one popular comment said, receiving over 25,000 likes.

Students from other universities also expressed concerns over the food handling practices in their own canteens, while some said they felt nauseous for having had lunch at the Wuhan canteen in question.

By Manya Koetse

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©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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