China: Public outrage over crimes against women, top court orders crackdown

In what is no more than a first ever drive, China’s top court, Supreme People’s Court, has ordered crackdown on crimes against woman. This followed wide spread public anger over assault on a group of women diners in a restaurant in the northern city of Tangshan last month. The attack triggered concerns about women’s safety, says a media report.

“Cruel assaults against women, children and the elderly that challenge the bottom line of the law and morals must be punished with the utmost severity,” Zhou Qiang, president of the Supreme People’s Court, told a conference of senior judges, the South China Morning Post reported.

Surveillance footage showed the women being dragged by their hair, slapped to the ground and kicked after one of the diners turned down a man’s advances.

Nine people have been detained over the assault, which left two of the women seriously injured.

This incident sparked concern about women’s safety in China, but the authorities responded with campaigns against gang violence rather than highlighting the problem of gender-based violence even though there have been several high-profile cases in recent years, adds the report.

These include the live-streamed murder of Tibetan influencer Lhamo last October by her ex-husband and the case of a mother of eight who was found chained by her neck in a brick hut in Jiangsu province in January.

China is drafting a revision to the Law on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Women but public concerns for women’s safety remain.

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