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China: Around The Nation

Woman disfigured in fire attack by spurned classmate five years ago posts photos of her suffering

Zhou Yan was only 16 years old when she suffered horrific act of spite

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 August, 2016, 4:31pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 August, 2016, 4:31pm

A young Chinese woman who was severely disfigured after a fire attack by a spurned classmate has released photos bravely showing her scars.

Zhou Yan, 21, from Hefei in Anhui province, was doused with lighter fuel and set on fire five years ago by classmate, Tao Rukun, when she rejected the advances of the then 17-year-old boy.

She suffered severe burns to 30 per cent of her body including her face, neck and chest. She also lost an ear.

The case caused public outcry when it was revealed that the boy’s parents, both civil servants, threatened not to pay for Zhou’s medical treatment unless she signed an agreement calling for the release of their son, who was jailed for 12 in 2012.

Zhou last week released a series of photos of herself on Weibo, donned in a silk dress with the scars still visible over different parts of her body.

Boy, 13, visits hospital bed of woman he set alight to apologise

“I have lived in a body that I am not familiar with, still living that life when I was 16, and cannot face Zhou Yan who is already 21 years old,” Zhou wrote in the caption. She was 16 years at the time of the attack.

The photos attracted comments from many online users praising Zhou for her bravery and positive attitude.

In March, Zhou was finally awarded 1.8 million yuan (HK$2.1 million) in compensation after five years.