Man jailed as Chinese authorities downplay attack on women at BBQ restaurant | SBS News

The ringleader of an assault on a group of women at a barbecue restaurant in China has been sentenced to 24 years in prison, after the case sparked a national debate on gender-based violence.
Chen Jizhi began beating the women after they rejected his “harassment” in the early hours of June 10 in the city of Tangshan, east of the capital Beijing, the court said in a statement.

When the women resisted, Chen and his group of friends attacked them with chairs and bottles, the court heard, with all four women suffering “minor” injuries.

Authorities called the incident a gang-related crime, but many who saw footage of the incident, which was shared widely online, said the attack was symbolic of the larger problem of violence sexist in the country.
The court said a police investigation after the attack found Chen was the leader of a gang that “threatened the public” and had committed crimes including opening gambling dens since 2012.
Chen was found guilty of a list of offenses including disorderly conduct, intentional injury, theft and “gathering a crowd to fight”.
He was fined 320,000 yuan ($68,000) in addition to the 24-year prison sentence handed down on Friday, and 27 accomplices were sentenced to terms ranging from six months to 11 years.
Widespread censorship and unequal legal support for victims of violence have stifled women’s rights in China.

Women’s rights activists say domestic violence remains pervasive and underreported in China, while prominent feminists are also regularly harassed and detained by police.