Almost half a year after suing local authorities for sending her to a labor camp to keep her from petitioning for justice, Tang Hui, also known as the "petitioning mother," finally won her appeal on July 15 in a case against the Yongzhou labor camp authorities in Hunan province, south-central China.
According to China's state-run media, the Hunan Provincial People's High Court in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province, has ordered the Yongzhou labor camp authorities to pay Tang -- who had petitioned for justice for her 11-year-old daughter after the girl was raped by seven men -- 2,941 RMB (about US $478) for "infringing upon [Tang's] personal freedoms" and "causing mental damage" during her nine-day detention in the labor camp.
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Earlier this year, a lower court dismissed Tang's request for compensation because it claimed she had been upsetting social stability through her petitioning.
Although the success of Tang's appeal should not have been a surprise given existing law, as one of Tang's lawyer's, Pu Zhiqiang, pointed out, it still came as a surprise to many who were following the case. Even in the eyes of a vice-chief of a local court in Hubei province, who chose to remain anonymous, Tang's chances of winning her case were slim based on public documents provided by the Yongzhou labor camp authorities. "The result of this case is due in large part to the fact that the re-education through labor system is about to be abolished, and the high court has also taken Tang's sufferings into consideration," the vice-chief noted.