[Stop-traffic] News/China: Chinese wife-enslavers executed

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/China: Chinese wife-enslavers executed
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Thu Nov 30 2000 - 14:15:57 EST


 From Salon.com

Chinese wife-enslavers executed
                                                     Six merchants
were put to death last week for
                                                     selling poor
women to northern Chinese farmers.

                                                     - - - - - - - - - - - -
                                                     By Hank Hyena

                                                     Dec. 9, 1999

                                                     Six convicted men
got deadly bullets blasted into
                                                     the backs of
their heads Sunday for the crime of
                                                     selling women as
wife-slaves to love-starved
                                                     northern Chinese
farmers, reports Monday's
                                                     Legal Daily, a
Chinese state-owned newspaper.

                                                     The flesh
merchants were sentenced and
                                                     executed by the
Intermediate People's Court in
                                                     the Shanxi
province's capital city of Taiyuan, in a
                                                     public trial
watched by 10,000 people.
                                                     Prostitution,
forced marriages and woman-selling
                                                     were outlawed by
the communist government of
                                                     Chairman Mao
Tse-tung in 1949.

                                                     Each doomed
gangster was also impelled to pay
                                                     20,000 yuan
($2,400) before his execution. Seven
                                                     accomplices were
fined 10,000 yuan and received
                                                     life in prison.

                                                     The wife-selling
cartel was judged guilty of
                                                     tricking 52
impoverished young peasant women
                                                     into believing
that the men would find them
                                                     distant
employment. The hoodwinked maidens
                                                     were gathered
from the marketplaces of Kunming
                                                     and Guiyang
cities in the southwestern provinces
                                                     of Yunnan and
Guizhou. The enslavers abducted
                                                     them to rural
Loushan and Jingle counties in
                                                     northern Shanxi,
where farmers purchased the
                                                     captive brides
for 3,000 to 6,000 yuan each ($361
                                                     to $722).

                                                     Official Chinese
figures indicate that 88,000
                                                     Chinese women and
children were stolen and
                                                     sold into
marriage and slavery from 1991 to 1996.
                                                     Human-rights
organizations believe that the true
                                                     figures are
significantly higher.

                                                     An Oct. 12, 1998
U.S. News & World Report
                                                     article describes
one scenario in the wife-selling
                                                     phenomenon:
"Eighteen-year-old Yang Wenfang
                                                     ... was lured to
a riverside, and before she
                                                     realized what was
happening, a man dragged her
                                                     into a
dilapidated boat and took her far away.
                                                     She was locked up
for several days ... until a
                                                     buyer came to inspect her."

                                                     Yang Wenfang
claims that the first peasant
                                                     customer who
examined her was "in his 30s and
                                                     very ugly, so I
refused to go with him. The
                                                     kidnappers told
me if I didn't marry him, they
                                                     would find me a
man in his 60s and it would
                                                     serve me right."
When the intimidated girl
                                                     relented, she was
purchased, locked in the man's
                                                     hovel, guarded by
his kinfolk and eventually
                                                     coerced into
being his breeder wife.

                                                     The demand for
wives in China has skyrocketed
                                                     due to a gender
imbalance: 100 females per 130
                                                     males. The number
of girls, particularly in rural
                                                     areas, has been
decimated by selected abortion
                                                     and infanticide
due to the traditional preference
                                                     for boys.
                                                     salon.com | Dec. 9, 1999

                                                     - - - - - - - - - - - -

                                                     About the writer
                                                     Hank Hyena is a
columnist for
                                                     SF Gate, and a frequent
                                                     contributor to Salon.

                                                     Sound off
                                                     Send us a Letter
to the Editor
                                                     Send e-mail to Hank Hyena

                                                     - - - - - - - - - - - -
Melanie Orhant
Stop-Traffic Moderator

Please contact me off-list for any questions about Stop-Traffic at
<<morhant@igc.org>>.

Women's Reproductive Health Initiative
Program for Appropriate Technology in Health
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