Victims of Tangshan restaurant attack recover from injuries, Chinese police say

The assault, which took place in the morning hours of June 10, saw several women repeatedly kicked and beaten by a group of men. It sent shock waves across China after surveillance footage of the incident was leaked online.

One day after the attack, Tangshan police issued a statement saying that two women were hospitalized with “non-life-threatening injuries” and were in “stable condition”. No other information was provided. The victims, as well as their friends and family, have also been silent.

On Tuesday, 11 days after the attack, and 10 days after the first statement, the public security department in Hebei Province, where Tangshan is located, issued a second, longer statement, saying that two of the women, 31 and 29 years old, were “hospitalized. in the general ward for treatment, and their condition has improved. ” The other two victims, aged 24 and 29, did not need to be hospitalized, it added.

According to a forensic report cited by the police, the hospitalized women received “minor injuries of the second degree”, while the other two had “minor injuries”.

The 10-day black hole with information had given rise to repeated allegations that the leaked surveillance video only captured part of the attack, and the violence continued outside the camera in a nearby alley – claims CNN can not confirm independently.

In an apparent attempt to refute such rumors, Hebei police said in a statement Tuesday that the suspects fled the scene at 2:47 a.m. – seven minutes after the assault began; and at 02.55 the four victims were sent to hospital by ambulance. Local police arrived at the restaurant at 03.09, about half an hour after receiving a call from the public at the start of the attack, according to the statement.

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But the statement was met with disbelief online, and many criticized the authorities’ handling of the case. A related hashtag on Weibo was viewed 450 million times in hours.

“So there are no photos or videos. Journalists are not allowed to interview (the victims), and only you can release information,” said a user on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, citing the lack of access. given to journalists.

“A city without credibility – do we dare to trust the damage report? And how reliable is this police statement?” user added.

Following the attack, the Chinese authorities have tried to stifle discussions about gender-based violence and shift the focus to local gang violence.

State media reports have largely focused on the rapid police action to arrest the suspects, and the two-week “thunderstorm” campaign announced by the Tangshan authorities to crack down on organized crime. Photos and videos of police officers – some armed with weapons – standing guard behind customers at outdoor barbecue restaurants, similar to the one where the incident took place, flooded social media.

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In a statement on Tuesday, police said four of the suspects had traveled to Tangshan from eastern Jiangsu province three days before the attack to conspire with the other five to “carry out illegal online gambling and money laundering.” Several of them had crimes, for offenses ranging from illegal detention to intentional harm to others, the statement added.

The police authorities have also launched an internal investigation into whether the local police station had failed to respond in time, and whether they violated any laws and regulations when enforcing the law. A deputy head of the local police station had been suspended, the statement said. ?