Interviewing Tang Hui is something I have been wanting to do for months but my translator isn’t around right now. So I’m glad somebody at AFP finally saw the value in interviewing Tang Hui and getting her story out there. I’ve been writing about her for months, trying to get more attention on her. In a culture that traditionally sees no value in girls, Tang Hui has spent 7 years, faced beatings, prison, and police intimidation and brutality to get justice for her only daughter. Tang Hui is a courageous hero and is an important part of a growing peasant uprising happening across China when the common citizens are trampled on.
I’ve talked before about how Tang was sentenced to a labor camp (basically a prison that any Chinese citizen can be sent to without trial) for “disturbing social order” when she inconvenienced the lives of government officials who refused to fairly prosecute the men who kidnapped and raped her 11-year old daughter. In the AFP interview, Tang talks about what she and her daughter have been through in the last 7 years.
The police initially refused to help rescue Tang’s daughter and she found her on her own. Even after she found her daughter, some police refused to rescue the girl. The girl has been physically and emotionally scared for life (as one would expect) and has moved every year to go to new schools to keep her past from catching up with her. The girl should be by her mother’s side, getting comfort, but instead must constantly move. Tang stayed in Hunan to fight for justice for her daughter.
The case was intentionally bungled and delayed for over 4 years, almost unbelievable considering how quickly most cases pass through China’s strict legal system. Only two of the men were sentenced to death. In the three years since the trial ended, Tang has crusaded for tougher penalties resulting in being beaten so badly she was in the hospital for a week and being sent to a labor camp.
Tang says that she “no longer believe[s] there is justice in this society,” but that she “will persevere.” Even though she lost her case suing for recompense for being imprisoned in the labor camp, she was granted the right to appeal the ruling. She will carry on, for her daughter, for herself, and for all oppressed people in China. “If I thought about such things, then there are things I would not dare do. And if you don’t dare do some things, then those people will never get what they deserve.”