> Nation
Rape trial begins for petitioner from village
By Yan jie (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-11-05 08:38

A woman who was held by guards at a Beijing hotel, and claims she was raped by one of them, complained the rape trial was unfair because the judge had snubbed her requests to speak.

"He did not allow me to speak up," Li Ruirui said after the trial.

"I wanted to protest but he did not allow me to do that either," she said, according to a tape provided by Liu Dejun, a labor-rights advocate who has closely watched this issue, which has caused an uproar over China's petition system.

Li Ruirui, a 20-year-old villager from the eastern Chinese province of Anhui, arrived in Beijing to petition the State Bureau for Letters and Calls about being ridiculed by her teachers and classmates, according to previous media reports.

Rape trial begins for petitioner from village

She was later taken to the hotel by officials from the province's liaison office in Beijing, who had discovered her in front of the authority's gate and put under surveillance.

Li accused Xu Jian, 26, a former guard, of raping her on Aug 4 when she was held with other petitioners at the hotel.

The trial at the Fengtai District court, which was closed to the public, lasted about one and a half hours and finished without a verdict, said Liu, who was not allowed into the courtroom.

Li, her mother and two lawyers showed up at court.

"Ruirui and her mother have never experienced such a situation as a trial," said one of her lawyers who was not named in the tape. "They are so poorly educated that they were unable to understand what the judge and prosecutor said."

The court dismissed other charges against the hotel and two provincial liaison offices, according to Liu.

"I expect the court to give a verdict in 15 days," he said.

Li also demanded compensation from the rape suspect.

Xu, along with other guards at the hotel, was responsible for preventing the petitioners from leaving until they promised they would not come back to Beijing to petition. They were then taken home by officials from their hometowns.

Li reported the rape to a police station in Fengtai District on Aug 4.

Xu turned himself in to local police on Aug 11 after fleeing to his hometown of Tongbai county in Henan.

(China Daily 11/05/2009 page5)