Journalist forced to resign after exposing Hainan child molestation scandal
The journalist who reported a sex scandal in Hainan involving a local primary school principal and a government official who raped six elementary school students is about to resign due to "intolerable social strain."
The intention to resign was published Thursday on the personal Tencent Weibo of the Southern Report journalist, Yang Qiongwen, saying that he was going to leave his position due to the pressure he's received from local officials.
"The Southern Report has asked him to submit his resignation letter as it is taking too much pressure from the government," Mao Lei, a journalist from news portal people.com.cn who interviewed him Thursday, told the Global Times on Thursday.
Mao also noted that the Weibo post was removed soon after it was published and this was without Yang's permission.
Chen Zaipeng, then principal of a Hainan primary school, and Feng Xiaosong, then a local housing bureau official, took six elementary school girls, aged between 11 and 14, to a hotel and raped them on May 8. An investigation showed that Chen spent the night with four girls, while Feng was with the other two.
The girls were all later found to have suffered internal injuries consistent with rape.
The case was first reported by Yang Qiongwen on May 13 and soon drew nationwide attention, bringing huge social pressure to local authorities.
"The report was based on my conscience as a Chinese and my professional ethics," Yang wrote on his Weibo, adding that he didn't regret what he had done and he would not give in.
Yang has received lots of calls of support after he said he will leave the newspaper. Another news agency has agreed to take him, making him feel hopeful, according to people.com.cn. However, he cannot leave his present newspaper until September 15, according to his labor contract.
Chen and Feng were found guilty of rape on June 20. Chen was sentenced to prison for 13 and a half years and Feng for 11 and a half years.