Chinese Public Calls for Justice in Chained Woman Case

Chinese citizens have been speaking up about Xuzhou’s woman in chains — raising awareness and vocalizing their concerns via different methods

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Feb 25, 2022 1 mins read

Roughly a month ago, a video of a woman chained in a shack in China’s eastern province of Jiangsu went viral on Chinese social media, sparking nationwide outrage. In the following weeks, public outcry about the case has remained consistent.

On February 17, about three weeks after the cause was brought to public attention, the Jiangsu provincial government announced it had established an investigation team to “thoroughly probe the truth.”

According to the investigation report published on February 23, local authorities punished 17 officials from Feng county for dereliction of duty. The local police also arrested the woman’s husband and others involved on suspicion of domestic abuse and human trafficking.

As we reported previously, citizens have been speaking up about the case — raising awareness and vocalizing their concerns via different methods.

In mid-February, alumni of prestigious universities such as Tsinghua and Peking University sent out petitions to urge central government authorities to look further into the case.

However, related posts were quickly removed from Chinese social media.

xuzhou chained woman subway outcry

The shirt reads “Keep following the Feng county case. Don’t give up.” Image via Twitter

In Shanghai, some young women took to the streets to encourage more citizens to engage in online discussions about the case.

One woman was seen on the metro wearing a T-shirt with a supportive message, which read, “Keep following the Feng county case. Don’t give up.” Another was spotted wearing a face mask emblazoned with the words “Follow Feng county.”

On Saturday, some female students reportedly distributed flyers on a busy business street in central Shanghai.

Around the same time, two bookstores in the city of Hangzhou and Xi’an that displayed books about feminism in the wake of the Xuzhou scandal were asked by local governments to remove the particular display.

In the digital realm: Earlier this month, a Douban user posted that her colleague got AirDropped the poster shown below while on the subway. It reads, “Pay attention to Feng county in Xuzhou, take care of women and children, and keep seeking fairness and justice.”

Censors removed the post multiple times from the platform, but the user has continued posting it. The latest post reads, “It doesn’t matter how many times it will be removed, I will still post it.”

Screengrab via Douban

According to a tweet by Quartz reporter Jane Li, other users on Douban came up with creative titles to deceive censors and discuss the Xuzhou woman’s case on the platform.

Now netizens are calling for the punishment of all those involved in the trafficking of the victim, Xiao Huamei. The hashtag for the case had amassed more than 170 million views on Weibo at the time of writing.

Cover image via Weibo

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