October 2, 2022

Source: bbc.com

A man who led a vicious attack on four women eating in a restaurant in China has been sentenced to 24 years in prison.

Chen Jizhi was found guilty of the assault in the north-eastern city of Tangshan in June which began when one of the women rejected his advances.

Another 27 men were convicted over the violence, in which they used bottles, chairs and fists to beat the women.

Surveillance video went viral, sparking debate about gender violence in China.

After the attack, two of the women spent time in intensive care, while the other two women were seen in photos covered in blood, although their injuries were initially classed by police as only “minor”.

Chen was fined 320,000 yuan (£40,000, $45,000) in addition to his 24-year prison sentence,

The other defendants were sentenced to between six months and 11 years in prison.

The court ordered Chen and five defendants to compensate for the four victims’ medical expenses and other losses, the Global Times reports.

Women’s rights campaigners say domestic abuse remains pervasive and under-reported in China.

A report released soon after the assault found the handling of the case by the local deputy director of district police and other officers had been “slow and improper”.

Chinese authorities censored online debate about attacks on women, and tried to paint the assault as gang crime, correspondents say.

The viciousness of the attack sparked outrage and heated debate on social media, taking up one of the most-discussed topics on Weibo, a popular social media platform in China.

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