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In a case that sparked outrage over the alleged light sentence, a man in Heilongjiang province in northeast China who tortured his wife for three years, frequently forcing her to work or sleep in a pigpen and eat garbage, had his request for an 18-month prison sentence dismissed.

The decision was taken in April, but the court records were just recently posted to the internet, where they attracted the attention of the public and began to spread throughout China. Wu Hongbo, the man, abused his wife frequently with the aid of his mother, who is being prosecuted separately.

Man Imprisoned China
Image Source: South China Morning Post

The sentence sparked outrage among internet users, who said the sentence was too lenient. “Only a year and a half in prison? Is this really a society-wide warning? Or are you just implying that abusing your wife isn’t a big deal?” one Weibo user wondered.
“The man destroyed his wife for life and yet he only got one-and-a-half years in jail,” said another.

Family members can be sentenced to up to two years in prison in China for serious violence cases that do not result in permanent injury or death. Abuse accidents that result in serious injury or death will result in a term of two to seven years in prison.
In 2017 in Mingshui county the wife, 30 years of age, identified her only with the family name Yu, married Wu in Wu, 39.

Yu told the People’s Court of Mingshui that Wu and his mother abused her verbally and physically. She didn’t get food, but had to do a lot of work. She had been living in the pig, hungry, not warm-held and physically and intellectually tortured. According to one witness, Yu’s husband and mother-in-law had beaten her up many times, and her face was still riddled in wounds. He often saw Yu rummaging through the trash, and he could tell she was rapidly losing weight.

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Another witness said that Yu did all of the physical labor at home, and a third witness said that he took Yu to the hospital after seeing Yu’s facial and body wounds. Yu had several injuries all over her body, according to medical examinations. Yu had a blood clot on her forehead, injuries to her ears, a fractured bridge of her nose, and fractures in her right wrist and middle finger. The ribs were also found to have old bone fractures during the examination.

Last December, the county court ruled that Yu’s mother-in-law, Zou, had repeatedly abused him and that Wu should have intervened and assisted Yu with care.

Wu, on the other hand, took advantage of his mother’s dominant status and physically and psychologically abused Yu. According to the court document, Wu was sentenced to 18 months in prison for committing a serious crime. Wu filed an appeal after the sentence, but the Suihua Intermediate People’s Court, which heard the case, determined that the mother and son had seriously violated Yu and that they should be punished by the law.

“As a couple, Wu Hongbo and his wife should have respected and cared for each other, but Wu Hongbo acted in disregard of national law, natural justice and human feelings,” the court said in the indictment.

“The facts in the original judgment are clear, the evidence true and sufficient, the conviction is accurate. The sentence is appropriate.”

Source: South China Morning Post

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