Outcry as Chinese police chief accused of detaining primary schoolteacher for punishing his daughter

  • Teacher’s complaint that officers dragged her from classroom and locked up for several hours prompts public outrage
  • Officer involved suspended from duty and placed under investigation
PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 October, 2018, 3:51pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 October, 2018, 12:10am

A police chief in central China has been suspended after he was accused of detaining a teacher who had punished his daughter, mainland media outlets reported.

The teacher, surnamed He, said a group of police officers turned up at Yuhong Primary School in Hunan province at 8am on Tuesday and took her to the police station. She was eventually released at 3pm.

The day before the daughter of the vice-director of the police station in Zhuzhou county had been punished in front of her classmates for being late for school.

The 27-year-old teacher’s claims ignited an outpouring of public anger prompted by growing concerns about high-handed behaviour by the police.

The police officer, surnamed Zhao, was now been suspended from duty and the local Communist Party’s disciplinary watchdog has started an investigation, the news portal Thepaper.cn reported, citing a local official.

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“What did I do wrong?” the teacher wrote in a WeChat group after she was released. “Who gave the police station’s vice-director such powers?”

She described it as a “horrible experience”, writing that she was directly put in the interrogation room after being taken to the police station and was denied due process,

She also wrote that she had been having nightmares since being released and could not get the images of the interrogation room out of her mind.

“I was being monitored all through the process,” she said. “No one even gave me water to drink or anything to eat. I work diligently to teach students. Why was I treated in this way?”

An account called Top News posted her comments on China’s other major social network Weibo, where it was shared about 10,000 times and attracted more than 4,300 comments.

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Internet users rallied behind He, expressing widespread concerns about police abuse of power.

Earlier this month, a lawyer in the southern city of Guangzhou said she had been strip-searched at a police station while petitioning for the release of one of her clients.

Two years ago, a man named Lei Yang died in mysterious circumstances in police custody in Beijing.

Police said he had been arrested for soliciting prostitutes and had died of a heart attack when he tried to escape, but an investigation later found he had been choked and stamped on.

However, five officers involved in the case escaped punishment after their offences were deemed too minor to punish. Lei’s family agreed to drop the matter after receiving a financial settlement.