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August 16, 2011

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Boy hung up, beaten for taking parents' money

FURIOUS parents hung their 12-year-old son on a pole by his hands and feet, lashed him with a whip and then beat him with a wooden club for 30 minutes in public after he stole 300 yuan from them to play video games.

A picture recording the scene in front of a crowd of people on Sunday in a complex in the Pudong New Area has been uploaded online and stirred public outcry against family violence.

A witness surnamed Ning said he heard the desperate screaming and crying of the boy about 11:30am Sunday, and he rushed out of his apartment to see the boy tied up, hanging from an iron pole about 2 meters above the ground.

His father, a middle-aged man stood nearby with a whip in his hands and lashed the boy rapidly, while his mother pulled the string which tied up his son and shouted, "Lash him to his death!" said Ning.

Although the boy screamed for help to nearby residents and begged his parents to stop, the father only switched his weapon from the whip to a wooden club and started beating the boy for another 20 minutes, witnesses said.

"I've never seen such a horrible way of education in my life," said Ning. "It seemed like the parents really wanted to beat their own son to death on the street."

Neighbors who came forward trying to stop the beating were pushed away by the father, who shouted to them, "It's my son and my own way to educate him! That's none of your business!"

Neighbors said the family came from Anhui Province and led a poor life collecting electronic wastes.

When the parents were ready to pay the rent to their landlord on Sunday, they found the 300 yuan they locked in a drawer had been stolen by their son who spent it all on playing video games, which incited the parents into a fury, neighbors said.

The boy's suffering finally ended when police arrived after neighbors called them. The boy suffered several slight injures on his legs, the police said, and the father admitted beating him because he stole the rent.

But the parents, who likely violated the country's juvenile protection law, were not detained by the police but only given a warning that they should not beat their son again.

According to local lawyers, such family violence is prohibited by law, and the parents should be held responsible for child abuse if they repeatedly beat their children or heavily injure them.

But even with the laws to protect juveniles, some children fall victim to family violence because law enforcement is lax, said lawyer Wu Dong.

"In China, parents who have slightly injured their children may often go unpunished as police may regard the cases as only family affairs," said Wu. But in some other countries, anyone who spotted child abuse may immediately call government administrations or NGOs who would act immediately to help."

Wu suggested that a juvenile protection hotline be established for residents to report family violence, while violators should be punished and judged in court to determine whether they are qualified to take care of their children.

Lawyer Wang Zhan advised that nearby neighbors who watched the parents beating the boy should report to police immediately or come forward to stop them from any further violence against their son.


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