Chinese language courtroom throws out first #MeToo case


A Chinese language courtroom on Tuesday threw out a landmark sexual harassment case on the premise of inadequate proof, in a blow to the nation’s fledgling #MeToo motion. Zhou Xiaoxuan, now 28, got here ahead in 2018 to accuse former state TV host Zhu Jun of forcibly kissing and groping her throughout her 2014 internship on the broadcaster.

Her claims ignited a social media storm and impressed many ladies to share their experiences of sexual assault publicly. However after a three-year authorized battle, the courtroom dominated there was not sufficient proof to proceed.

“The proof offered by the plaintiff Zhou was inadequate to show her argument that she was sexually harassed by the defendant Zhu,” Beijing Haidian District Folks’s Court docket mentioned in an announcement late Tuesday, including that the case wouldn’t proceed to trial.

Zhou’s case in opposition to Zhu was initially filed underneath the “persona rights” legislation – protecting rights regarding a person’s well being and physique – however her legal professionals later requested for it to be thought of underneath new sexual harassment laws that was handed final 12 months.

Regardless of the brand new legislation, many ladies in China are nonetheless reluctant to come back ahead with harassment expenses, and it’s uncommon for circumstances to make it to courtroom.

Zhou, additionally identified by the pseudonym Xianzi, was suing for a public apology from Zhu and 50,000 yuan ($7,600) in damages. “Regardless of whether or not I win or lose, I’m very honoured to have skilled these three years with everybody,” Zhou informed supporters and media on her means into the Beijing courtroom.

Her first listening to in December drew a big crowd and a major police presence with reporters from a number of international media shops, together with AFP, dragged away by police. On Tuesday, police had cordoned off the highway outdoors the courtroom. Zhu didn’t attend both listening to. “I hope that, it doesn’t matter what, Xianzi is aware of that she has finished one thing very significant,” mentioned one supporter outdoors the courtroom, who recognized herself solely as Lucy.

Beijing has more and more tightened the house for civil society, and China’s #MeToo motion has been restrained by on-line censorship. Zhou’s personal Weibo account has been blocked, whereas a number of outstanding ladies’s rights accounts appeared to have been deleted after sharing posts concerning the case. 

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