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Chinese court rejects plea of country's leading MeToo figure in sexual harassment case against star TV host

ANI | Updated: Aug 11, 2022 23:52 IST

Beijing [China], August 11 (ANI): A court in China has rejected an appeal by a former state television intern against the dismissal of her long-running landmark #MeToo case accusing a star presenter of sexual harassment.
Zhou Xiaoxuan, popular as Xianzi in China became the face of the country's #MeToo movement in 2018 after she publicly accused CCTV host Zhu Jun of groping and forcibly kissing her in a dressing room, CNN reported.
"The court held that the evidence submitted by the appellant Zhou was not sufficient to prove that Zhu had sexually harassed her, and that the appeal could not be substantiated," the court on Wednesday said on its official Weibo account, CNN reported.
Zhu, who was 50 at the time of the alleged incident, denied the accusation and sued Zhou for defamation.
In past years, young Chinese feminists have faced increasingly stringent censorship and misogynistic attacks from state actors and nationalist trolls.
According to CNN, Zhou's Weibo account has been blocked since last year -- as have the accounts of many of her supporters.
Online trolls have accused Zhou of lying and "colluding with foreign forces" -- a stock Communist Party phrase often used by nationalists to denounce anyone from dissidents and academics to health experts opposing the country's zero-Covid policy.

Last September, a court in Beijing ruled against Zhou, citing "insufficient evidence." In response, she accused the court of failing to ensure procedural fairness. Zhou said the judge had refused her repeated requests to retrieve corroborating evidence, such as security camera footage outside the dressing room.
Meanwhile, women in China suffer dangers to their physical safety in addition to employment discrimination. Chinese government has shown little interest in dealing with the problems that women face on a daily basis.
Federico Giuliani, writing in Insideover said that the Chinese government pledged to tackle workplace discrimination based on gender in its annual work report in March 2022, and called for an equitable opportunity for all. However, two Chinese government-controlled media sites, took around a month to reject the official report's remarks.
On April 12, the Chinese Communist Youth League's Central Committee released a contentious tweet on its social media account.
Some female social media users were labelled "radical feminists" by the Communist Party youth wing for questioning its propaganda photo choices of various historical events.
Women continue to play a peripheral role in male-dominated China, which cannot tolerate women's rights in the country even as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) celebrates 100 years of its founding.
In January this year, disturbing footage showing a Chinese woman, a mother of eight, chained by the neck to an outdoor shed, sparked backlash about the country's treatment of women, The New York Post reported.
After the woman's story was made public, the local Chinese government issued five contradictory statements, quickly sealed off the village, silenced comments and arrested netizens who tried to pursue the truth.
However, there was no information yet, on whether the chained woman is free or not. (ANI)