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China: Around The Nation

Unfilial villagers risk being named, shamed and fined in southwestern China

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 July, 2016, 12:39pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 August, 2016, 2:07pm

Villagers in southwestern China have received warning that they will be named, shamed and fined if they violate a new filial piety rule.

Zhang Yiping, secretary of the village of Huangfen in Sichuan province, said shaming those who violated rules was an effective deterrent in the village although such violations did not amount to a crime, E.chengdu.cn reported.

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Since the non-governmental regulation on filial piety was updated in January, there had been only three violations of the rule in the village, Zhang said.

This was fewer than those reported last year. Before the rule was updated, there were five to six such cases every month, he said.

But of the three cases the village secretary has dealt with so far this year, none of them had been publicised, the report said.

Tradition of filial piety needs the force of law

“The new regulations are like invisible hands,” Zhang said.

The regulations comprise 24 agreements that cover social security, folk customs, neighbourly relationships, marriage and filial piety.

Those who severely violate the rules – even though they are not breaking any law – will face not just monetary penalties of between 50 and 100 yuan (HK$58-116) and also be named and shamed through broadcasts in the village, the report said.

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The original rules were abstract and the penalties imposed unclear, so Zhang decided to revise them, according to the article.

Yang Lixin, law professor from Renmin University, said the naming and shaming of villagers might in fact be against the law if it violates their right of private reputation.