Chinese court criticized for seeking help from ethnic committee

By Shan Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/4 23:26:06

A court in Central China successfully resolved a case to evict an overstaying restaurant owner from a rented house. However,netizens criticized the court after they learned that the case was resolved with the help of ethnic and religious authorities.

The Donghu New Technology Development Area People's Court in Wuhan, Hubei said on its Weibo account on Monday that, in coordination with the local committee on ethnic and religious affairs, a man surnamed Ma of Hui ethnicity finally moved out of his restaurant and turned the place over to the landlord, a man surnamed Peng, after 10 months.

The post said Ma is from Northwest China's Qinghai Province and has been running a Lanzhou ramen restaurant in the Donghu area, but that he refused to move out after his lease contract expired, nor pay for the utility bills.

Ma's attitude changed after talking to officials with the ethnic and religious department, and the case was finally resolved.

The Weibo post caused controversy, with some netizens blaming the court for seeking the help of the ethnic and religious authority in law enforcement.

Although the court has since deleted the post, the controversy highlighted what many netizens say is the difficulty in enforcing the law when ethnic minorities are involved.

"There was such a case," a court official surnamed Hu told the Global Times on Tuesday. "There are other cases involving defaulters, as a special national campaign is ongoing."

"I could not understand why people doubt the court's work, as we value peace not conflict," she said.

"It is understandable for the court to invite the committee on ethnic and religious affairs, who knows ethnic minorities better," Xiong Kunxin, a professor of ethnic studies at Minzu University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

"There should be no difference in law enforcement on ethnic minorities," Xiong said.



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