Rape victim's mum wins court battle

By Malcolm Moore

Tang Hui wanted harsher penalties for the men who kidnapped and raped her daughter. Photo / AP
Tang Hui wanted harsher penalties for the men who kidnapped and raped her daughter. Photo / AP

A Chinese mother who was sent to a labour camp after protesting at the rape of her 10-year-old daughter has won her battle for compensation.

Tang Hui, 39, became a public heroine in the campaign against the injustice of China's labour camp system, which gives the police the power to lock up people for up to four years without trial.

Her daughter was kidnapped by seven men at the beginning of October, 2006, just before her 11th birthday, raped and forced to work as a prostitute until her mother tracked her down and saved her three months later.

Last year, two of the men involved were executed, four received life sentences and one was jailed for 15 years.

But Tang insisted that others were involved and campaigned for tougher verdicts against the men who had raped her child.

After travelling repeatedly to Beijing to lodge her petitions for justice, local officials lost patience with her and sent her to a labour camp for 18 months for "upsetting social stability".

One week later, following a storm of public criticism, she was released. Yesterday, the high court in the central city of Changsha awarded her 2941 yuan ($612) in compensation for "infringing her personal freedom" and "causing her mental damage". It stopped short of agreeing to her demand for a written apology.

Tang's case became the focus of Chinese media attention, forcing the authorities to reconsider the dismissal of her claim by a lower court last month. There were rumours that the local government had offered Tang as much as 200,000 yuan in order to drop the proceedings.

Pu Zhiqiang, one of her lawyers, said: "Lots of people could put themselves in Tang Hui's shoes.The whole way in which the local government handled this case made the public believe that this sort of thing could happen to them, too."

Tang was flying to Beijing for interviews with all of China's largest state media organisations. Her post on Sina Weibo simply said: "Thank you all."

- Daily Telegraph UK

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