#MeToo trailblazer in China vows to fight on after losing appeal in landmark sexual harassment case

China’s leading #MeToo figure Zhou Xiaoxuan lost her appeal in her case against CCTV anchor Zhu Jun earlier this week due to lack of evidence.

Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court Rejects Beijing-Based Screenwriter’s Application Appeal on Wednesday Based on “insufficient evidence”, the Beijing court made the same decision Released in September.

The court held that the evidence presented by the appellant Zhou was not sufficient to prove that Zhou had sexually harassed her and the appeal could not be substantiated,” the Beijing court said in a statement posted on Weibo.

Despite the recent decision and the odds against her, Zhou, known in China as Xianzi, said Reuters She still plans to apply for reconsideration.

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We will talk to our lawyer and fight the case again. Basically it is unlikely to start again. But we also want to tell the justice system that we are making one last effort,” Zhou said.

We have already faced many blows, and you can see that the Chinese women have not been subdued by this shock, people have not given up their claims and have not raised their demands,” she added.

A small group of supporters greeted Zhou near the courthouse on Wednesday, showering her with flowers and holding up signs of support that read: “History and we the people are with you, Xianzi!”

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In 2014, Zhou accused Zhu of forcibly kissing her in the dressing room. She was 21 years old at the time and was working as an intern on a CCTV anchor’s show.

Zhu publicly accused Zhu and later took the case to court in 2018, helping to shock the country. The #MeToo movement Further, since China did not consider sexual harassment a legal crime at the time, Zhu sued Zhu for violating “personhood rights”. Demand a public apology and 50,000 yuan (approximately $7,415) in damages.

The first court hearing of the case was held on December 2, 2020 at the Haidian District Court in Beijing. The court did not make an immediate decision and the second hearing scheduled for May 2021 was canceled without explanation.

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Zhou, then 50, denied all allegations and filed a defamation suit against Zhou. Their legal battle became widely discussed in China, leading to a widespread ban on online discussions about feminist activism and women’s rights.

Zhou eventually became the target of online trolls after gaining widespread support on Weibo, with some users accusing her of lying and “In collusion with foreign forces.”

“If I hadn’t started a lawsuit myself, I would never have known when other women who had been sexually assaulted had been admitted. [judicial] system,” Zhou said in a video posted to her followers. “We’re still in an environment where we have to sacrifice our emotions, sacrifice our pain in exchange for understanding.”

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China’s #MeToo movement gained momentum in 2018 after a student accused her college professor of sexual harassment. One of the most high-profile cases was the tennis star’s sudden disappearance and reappearance Peng Shui In 2021.

Featured image by Public Television News Network

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