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Director sued over family planning breach

By Yu Ran in Shanghai and Xu Wei in Beijing | China Daily | Updated: 2013-12-06 07:14

Director sued over family planning breach

Zhang Yimou: Reports about the film director fathering three children has casused public outcry. Photo provided to China Daily

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Lawyers want to use the case to express anger against national policy violation

Two lawyers filed a public interest lawsuit against film director Zhang Yimou on Thursday for his violation of the family planning policy.

They also wanted to use the suit to air their anger at the policy's failure to constrain celebrities and the rich.

Family planning authorities in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, found that Zhang fathered three children with his wife Chen Ting before they married in 2011. Under the policy, Zhang can have only one child.

Jia Fangyi, one of the two lawyers, accused Zhang of infringing upon public interests.

"The rich have become increasingly audacious by violating the family planning policy just because they are rich enough to pay the fine, ... and they take an extra share of resources from society," Jia said in a statement.

"It's unfair to the poor and those who strictly follow the national policy."

Jia filed the lawsuit with the Intermediate People's Court in Wuxi and requested the court fine Zhang 500 million yuan ($82.1 million) in compensation for public resources and another 500 million yuan for punishment.

Guo Chengxi, the other lawyer, added that an increasing number of celebrities are flouting the family planning regulation, bringing negative social effects.

Qi Lianfeng, a lawyer with the Yingke Law Firm in Beijing, said there is slim chance that the court would accept the case, as the Civil Procedure Law requires plaintiffs to be directly related to the case.

But he said the application reflects public dissatisfaction with the rich.

Opinion: Why is filmmaker treated partially?

For more coverages on Zhang Yimou, click here

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