Thousands of social media users in China have launched scathing attacks on local police for refusing to investigate a 30-year-old man who was filmed molesting his daughter on a train.
Video taken on board a train in southeastern China showed the man, whom the girl addresses as father, repeatedly fondling her despite being asked to stop.
The incident took place on a high-speed train from Guangzhou South station to Shangrao in Jiangxi Province on Saturday night. The woman who filmed it sent the clip to a local newspaper on Sunday in the hope that justice would be done.
Social media outrage in the aftermath of the incident led to a short-lived police investigation into the alleged molestation, however, they declined to prosecute the suspect as the five-year-old girl was related to him.
By Wednesday, the Nanchang railway police had located the 30-year old man, whom they identified as having the surname Zhou, but they did not feel his behaviour warranted further action.
“Zhous behaviour shown in the video does not constitute molesting. We sincerely thank citizens for their concern,” the police said in a statement.
However, given the manner in which Zhou was seen touching the girl, under her clothes, many claimed it was overtly sexual in nature and lambasted the authorities for failing in their duties.
“What do you mean? I doubt that your entire bureau is legally blind. This is a father and daughter? This stinks!” wrote one irate Weibo user.
The police statement drew the ire of over 20,000 other concerned citizens who saw it as a tacit endorsement of intrafamilial sexual abuse.
“This statement is more disgusting than the video itself,” wrote another user.
China passed its first national domestic violence law in March 2016, which provides for sentences of up to five years in prison for those found guilty of molestation. It also includes protections for children including mandatory reporting of suspected cases of molestation.
This is not molestation because they are father and daughter? Are you officially telling me that a father can molest or rape his daughter?
“Have you ever thought that a little girl may have been ruined for her whole life?”
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