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China’s landmark #MeToo case returns to court after backlash

#Chinas #landmark #MeToo #case #returns #court #backlash

A landmark sexual harassment case in China was due to be brought back to court on Wednesday after an earlier ruling dealt a blow to the country’s fledgling #MeToo movement.

Zhou Xiaoxuan came forward in 2018 and accused state TV host Zhu Jun of forcibly kissing and groping her during her 2014 internship at the station.

While the case of now 29-year-old Zhou inspired many others to publicly share their experiences of sexual assault and caused a storm on social media, a court ruled last year that there was insufficient evidence to back up her claim substantiate

Zhou appealed and is scheduled to appear in court for another hearing on Wednesday at 2 p.m. (0600 GMT) in Beijing.

“I still feel a little scared and depressed now,” she told AFP news agency before the hearing.

“The trial of the first trial was a deep secondary injury.”

She told AFP her legal team will focus on gaining access to more evidence, such as B. the police transcripts of interviews with her parents after she reported the incident – which were not included in the earlier process.

They are also demanding access to surveillance video.

Zhou said that Zhu had been absent from previous trials and that while he sued her for defamation, she was unaware of further developments in the case.

– ‘Too heavy’ –

Zhou, also known by the alias Xianzi, originally sued a public apology from Zhu and 50,000 yuan (US$7,400) in damages.

Her first hearing in December 2020 drew a large crowd and a significant police presence in Beijing.

Reporters from foreign media including AFP were dragged away by police while filming the scene.

“The process for my case was really too difficult,” Zhou said.

“I worry that other victims are afraid to stand up for their rights after seeing what I went through.”

Her lawsuit against Zhu was originally filed under the “Personal Rights” Act — which covers rights related to a person’s health and body.

However, her lawyers later demanded that this be considered under a new sexual harassment law passed in 2020.

Despite this law, many women in China are still reluctant to press charges of harassment, and it is rare for cases to go to trial in a legal system that places a heavy burden on plaintiffs.

The country’s #MeToo movement has stalled since 2018, when a wave of women published allegations of sexual harassment against university professors.

Threatened at the time by the prospect of uncontrolled mass movement, internet censors quickly began blocking hashtags and keywords on social media, with the public often turning to homonyms.

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#Chinas #landmark #MeToo #case #returns #court #backlash

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