Five police officials from the city of Tangshan in northern China are being investigated over their handling of a brutal attack on a group of women at a restaurant.
Hebei Province’s Provincial Disciplinary Commission said the five, including Lubei Police Force District Chief Ma Aijun, were charged with “seriously violating discipline and the law”. The Hebei Provincial Public Security Bureau separately announced on Tuesday that Ma’s deputy Li had been removed from his post.
The violence against four women at a barbecue restaurant on June 10 has been widely condemned. CCTV footage leaked online showed a man placing his hand on a woman’s back as she shared a meal with two companions. After the woman pushed him away, the man punched her before others dragged her outside and delivered a barrage of blows to her as she lay on the ground. Another woman was thrown to the ground.
Two women were hospitalized. Authorities initially reported that two other people were lightly injured, but it later emerged that the injuries were more serious than expected.
According to state-owned Global Times, the suspects fled the scene and police did not arrive until nearly half an hour later. Nine men have since been arrested for the attack.
The attack – and violence against women more broadly – has been one of the most discussed topics in China over the past week. But as Chinese journalists tried to report, some complained that their movements in Tangshan were hampered by local authorities.
On Tuesday, the Hebei provincial public security department said it had conducted “thorough investigations into the untimely dispatch of the police…and serious violations of discipline.” He admitted the incident had “caused a negative impact and caused widespread concern”.
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