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New Delhi: China’s landmark sexual harassment case against the country’s most famous TV host was dismissed by a Beijing court stating insufficient evidence, reported Reuters.
The case had sparked China’s #MeToo movement and help create more awareness about women’s rights in China. The plaintiff Zhou Xiaoxuan accused Zhu Jun, a well-known presenter at state broadcaster CCTV of sexual assault.
Zhou Xiaoxuan, who is popularly known as Xianzi accused Zhu of forcibly kissing and groping her when she was his intern in 2014. She asked for a public apology as well as 50,000 yuan ($7,600) in damages.
Xianzi had released an online essay in 2018 which spread like wildfire and many women across the country came forward speaking up against their own horrific experiences.
The same year, she launched a case against Zhu Jun who has continued to deny all accusations. The Haidian district court in Beijing released a brief statement after the hearing on Tuesday stating that there was insufficient evidence to back Zhou’s claims of sexual harassment by Zhu.
A group of Zhou’s supporters had gathered outside the court on Tuesday night, after the hearing she thanked them and she felt exhausted and disappointed.
“I don’t know if I still have the courage to stick to it for another three years, so I don’t know if this time will be a farewell,” a Reuter report quoted her as saying.
Though in a later statement Zhou said her team would appeal the verdict.
“We will definitely appeal because in this case, we didn’t look at any of the core facts at all, that is all of the surveillance videos.”
While Zhou was addressing her supporters, a woman yelled “pandemic safety,” trying to prevent Zhou from speaking, AP reported. While a man questioned whether it was appropriate for her to speak alone.
The report also stated that a woman who tried to hold up a sign saying “Standing Together” was quickly surrounded by police and had the sign ripped out of her hand. The police also asked for her national identification number.
Zhu Jun had filed a separate lawsuit against the 28-year-old Xianzi for damaging his reputation and mental well-being.
The dismissal of this case has increased the call for justice for cases of sexual harassment & assault victims in China, where only very recently legislation was passed that clearly defined sexual harassment.
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