A Chinese court has jailed for 24 years the leader of a gang which attacked female diners at a restaurant in Tangshan in Hebei province. The attack on the female diners sparked outrage over predatory sexual behaviour.
The attack happened in the month of June when four women were having dinner at a diner in Tangshan.
Footage of the incident widely circulated online shows a man placing his hand on a woman’s back but the woman refuted the man’s advances following which he strikes her and the other men accompanying him drag them outside the restaurant and deal a barrage of blows as she lies on the ground.
— iPaul🇨🇦🇺🇦 (@iPaulCanada) June 10, 2022
“Chen Jizhi’s criminal group acted with impunity to carry out bad deeds, oppress the people, and harm the local economy and public order, having a severe impact on society,” a court in the city of Langfang just outside Beijing said in a statement accessed by Bloomberg News.
At least 27 other individuals were also handed jail sentences ranging from half a year to 11 years for beating the woman. They were also charged for gang-related crimes dating back to 2012 including robbery, running a casino and illegal detention.
The video of the attack in Tangshan, which lies 155 kilometers east of Beijing, went viral sparking outrage in China’s strictly censored social media circles. Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party is also accused of suppressing the MeToo movement and sees it as a vehicle for spreading liberal Western values.
The party is accused of spreading patriarchal attitudes and suppressing female voices. Women on Chinese social media have highlighted harassment and eve-teasing they have faced and how they feel unsafe venturing out.
Mistreatment of women, domestic violence and sexual assault continue to impact women in China. Representation of women in politics is also low and there is only one woman on the ruling Communist Party’s 25-member Politburo - vice premier Sun Chunlan - but she is also set to retire.
After the court delivered the judgment, people applauded the verdict on social media. It was the top trending topic on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform, garnering more than 920 million views.