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Six jailed for vicious attack on tourist in Yunnan

By Li Xinyi in Kunming and Yang Wanli in Beijing | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-18 09:28

Six men have been jailed in Yunnan province for a vicious late-night attack in the old town of Lijiang that targeted three people, including a tourist who received disfiguring injuries to her face.

The Gucheng District People's Court sentenced on Thursday one defendant, He Rongsong, to three years and six months for intentional injury and disturbing public order, while the others received one to two years for disturbing public order for the Nov 11 attack.

The case has been closely watched online after news of the assault in November quickly spread on Chinese social media.

One of the three victims, surnamed Dong, posted images of her injuries on Sina Weibo. The pictures showed a long gash on her nose from a broken bottle that required six stitches.

Dong, a resident of Liaoning province, said she had traveled from Guangzhou in Guangdong province to Yunnan to relax in the old town and was eating in a barbecue restaurant with two male friends - the boss of the local family inn she had stayed in and a friend she had met that night in a bar.

"A group of men came in, and one of them started to copy my accent," she wrote in her post. Dong quarreled with the man, who called for his friends to attack Dong and her two companions. She said one attacker even recorded the incident on his phone.

After Dong posted her pictures on Sina Weibo, the Lijiang public security bureau set up a task force to find and detain the suspects.

All six men pleaded guilty during their trial on Thursday and said they would not appeal. Judges heard that He had also stabbed a man, surnamed Li, with a knife in an unrelated incident on July 23 in Chuxiong autonomous prefecture in Yunnan.

Li had only a minor injury, and He was taken into custody on Aug 2, the court heard. It was not clear whether he was still at large after the Lijiang assault or on bail at the time.

Yunnan is a popular destination for tourists from China and abroad. Lijiang's old town is a national 5-A scenic spot - the highest quality designation.

However, in recent years, numerous incidents of tourists being swindled, abused, beaten or forced by tour guides to purchase overpriced commodities at designated stores have been reported by the media. This year alone, there were at least three incidents involving tourists being beaten in Lijiang.

Early this year, the Yunnan Tourism Development Commission introduced 22 measures to clean up the local tourism industry.

The number of complaints from tourists in the second quarter this year dropped by 28.3 percent from the first quarter, according to the commission.

Cao Yin contributed to this story.

Contact the writers at yangwanli@chinadaily.com.cn

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