The government of the eastern province of Jiangsu has responsible and punished 17 officials in relation to a case of mistreatment of a woman who was sold in 1998 and remained chained for years.
Officials, some of whom have been dismissed, “they did not protect the rights of children and women” and incurred in “formalisms and bureaucracy”collects today the official agency Xinhua.
The case, which has gone around China and caused great indignation, came to light as a result of a video published on January 28 on the Douyin video application that showed a woman chained by the neck in a rural area of the Jiangsu province.
The woman, a mother of eight children, seemed confused, He showed a toothless mouth and was unable to respond to the video amateur, who asked him if he was cold given the low temperatures at the time and his lack of warm clothing.
The video horrified public opinion and on the internet numerous users of social networks called for an official investigation to clarify the situation.
The investigations, which began on February 17, determined through DNA analysis that the woman, whose real name is Xiao Huamei, was born in 1977 in Fugong, Yunnan province, 2,000 kilometers from her current residence.
Xiao was sold by the woman who took her to Jiangsu to a man surnamed Xu in 1998 for 5,000 yuan ($790, 697 euros), but disappeared a few months later, the man told investigators.
According to the investigation, another man bought it in June 2000. That man’s son, surnamed Dong, fraudulently obtained a marriage certificate with Xiao and fathered eight children with her.
The investigation determined that Dong kept Xiao tied by the neck with an iron chain since 2017 and that he deprived her of medical assistance, although he blamed the woman’s missing teeth on “untreated periodontal problems” and not physical violence.
Xiao does not suffer from any other physical ailment but, according to testimonies from the neighbors to the authorities, when he arrived in the town in 1998 he already showed symptoms of mental illness that worsened from 2012.
In late January, doctors in Nanjing, the provincial capital, diagnosed Xiao with schizophrenia, a condition that prevents her from communicating normally, according to authorities.
Dong has been arrested on suspicion of abuse, and apart from the officials, there are two individuals surnamed Sang and Shi under investigation for kidnapping and human trafficking.
Trafficking in persons is a persistent problem in China, exacerbated by the former one-child policy and the imbalance between the sexes, which has caused, according to the World Bank, that there were 42 million more men than women in 2017.
Single men sometimes resort to buying women from remote parts of China or neighboring countries like Vietnam.
In recent years, technologies such as DNA analysis or facial recognition have contributed to solving cases of sale of children and women.
(with information from EFE)
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