23 January 2018
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  • » 11/27/2017, 15.11

    CHINA

    Online censorship of child abuse case in Beijing nursery involving the authorities and the military

    John Ai

    Online videos showing protests, criticisms of the authorities, and complaints, have been censored. Parents have complained of sexual abuse involving their children. Naked doctors are said to have examined naked children. The military and Meng Jianzhu, a former secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China, are said to be involved. The government plans a nationwide inspection of all nursery schools.

    Beijing (AsiaNews) – Public outrage continues over a case of child abuse, where children may have been drugged and made to stand naked at a nursery in Beijing run by educational services provider RYB Education. Many want the truth and accuse the authorities and the military of being implicated.

    Police arrested a 22-year-old RYB teacher on Saturday and the head of the RYB nursery school was fired. Official media have reported that many people are apologising on the web for spreading unverified claims, yet comments and videos on the matter have been censored.

    Online reports indicate that Meng Jianzhu, a former secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China, went to Hainan to inspect a RYB nursery. Meng Liang, a shareholder in RYB Education, is suspected by many of having ties to Meng Jianzhu.

    Official media have reported that a Beijing woman and a Shenzhen man spread rumours about the involvement of government officials. The police found them and forced them to apologise. But the articles did not mention the name of Meng Jianzhu.

    Members of the military are also suspected of involvement in the scandal. The husband of the nursery director once served in the Tiger Regiment.

    The nursery stands on land that belongs to the military and members of the military have been accused of molesting children.

    The Tiger Regiment has denied the allegations, noting that when someone leaves the military he no longer has any connection with it.

    Official media have reported that the arrest of a woman named Liu who published pictures of soldiers molesting children.

    Government authorities and nursery administrators have rejected requests by the parents to see videos from the nursery’s own CCTV videos.

    A woman has said that the children were stripped for "medical visits" by naked "doctors". Parents have also said that their children were given injections and pills. The videos parents posted online accusing the nursery were all censored.

    Official media have focused on child abuse, but have refrained from mentioning claims of sexual abuse.

    RYB Education Inc. is the first Chinese educational services provider to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. After the scandal became public, the value of its shares plunged.

    The company plans to spend US $ 50 million to buy back shares to stabilise their value. Some lawyers have offered their services to the children’s families to sue the company in New York.

    In October 2016, four teachers employed at the RYB nursery school in Siping were convicted on charges of abuse. In early November, another child abuse scandal broke out at a Shanghai nursery.

    The authorities have announced a nationwide inspection of pre-school facilities to prevent any abuse.

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