Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Payout for China Labour camp woman

Tang Hui has received compensation from a Chinese court

A woman who was sent to a Chinese labour camp after she called for tougher punishments for the men who attacked her daughter has received compensation from a court.

The Hunan Provincial People's High Court ruled in favor of Tang Hui, who last year was sentenced to 18 months in a labour camp for petitioning for harsher penalties for the men who abducted, raped and prostituted her 11-year-old daughter.

At the time, Tang's case drew massive public opposition and she was released within days.

The labour camp - or "re-education through labour" - system was established to punish early critics of the Communist Party but is now used by local officials to deal with people challenging their authority on issues including land rights and corruption.

In January, Tang sued the labour commission of the city of Yongzhou for an apology and compensation but the lawsuit was rejected four months later. She then appealed to the provincial court.

On Monday, the court ordered the labour commission to pay Tang 2,941 yuan (£318) for violating her personal freedom and causing mental damage, Tang's lawyers said.

One of Tang's lawyers, Xu Liping, said she has accepted the ruling and that to a large extent, it offered her comfort.

"To Tang Hui, this is a relatively big turning point for her. Now she can start to regain a normal life," Xu said.

Tang's other lawyer, Pu Zhiqiang, said the lawsuit's significance was limited because it was focused on obtaining compensation rather than questioning the legality of the labour camp sentence she had been given.

"The court ruling is a result of a compromise between the various forces that are exerting influence over the case. Of course it's not as though real justice or fairness has been achieved," Pu said.

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