China: Shuhua Huang

My appeal for my daughter’s case has met with enormous assistance and support from the public. I sincerely wish to repay society."

— Shuhua Huang

After Huang Shuhua’s daughter Huang Jing died under suspicious circumstances in 2003, she was sorrow-stricken and bedridden. Then, she decided to fight back. Attacked and reviled on the one hand and supported on the other, her battle – which used the Internet – had a major impact on women’s rights.

Huang Jing, daughter of Huang Shuhua, was found naked and dead on her bed on February 23, 2003. There were bruises on her lower body and private parts. Huang Shuhua could hardly compose herself from sorrow, and found it difficult to believe the conclusion reached by the public security bureau that Huang Jing had died of heart disease. She suspected that her daughter had died from rape by her boyfriend, who had been with her in the hours before her death. Huang Shuhua asked the public security bureau to conduct an autopsy on her daughter. Three autopsy reports were later issued, but with the same conclusion as before. She was not discouraged. Though facing all kinds of pressures and threats, she traveled to Xiangtan, Changsha, Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai to seek legal assistance from experts, scholars and the public. The procuratorate put the boyfriend on trial for charge of rape on December 7, 2004. The death of Huang Jing has drawn increasing attention to the problem of rape along with the reports in the media and the Internet. Huang Shuhua's courage and perseverance have created awareness towards date rape. This is an important contribution to the protection of women's rights and the improvement on China's judiciary system. After receiving support from many people, Huang Shuhua is now trying to help others. Websites that are specially set up for this case have attracted more than 200,000 hits. Under this pressure, the police office has also established its own website to communicate with the public. The Internet, as a new venue for public opinion, has played an important role.