Judges shocked by courthouse stabbings

Updated: 2015-09-11 07:39

By Luo Wangshu in Beijing and Zhou Lihua in Wuhan(China Daily)

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The stabbing of four judges in a courthouse in Hubei province has raised concerns about judges' working conditions in China.

The suspect was arrested in the basement of the Shiyan No 1 Intermediate People's Court, where the attack took place on Wednesday, said Kong Lingxue, spokesman for the Shiyan police.

One judge who was seriously injured remained in the intensive care unit, police said, but none of the judges had life-threatening injuries.

According to the court, the suspect, Hu Qinggang, 43, smuggled a knife into the courthouse, where he was to receive a verdict in a labor dispute.

Judge Liu Tan took Hu to her office to deliver the verdict. Hu was not happy with the result and stabbed Liu and Zheng Fei, another judge who shared an office with Liu. He later stabbed another two judges who rushed to the office.

"Only two words could express my feelings after reading the news, anger and bitter disappointment," said a judge from Guangdong province, asking to remain anonymous and adding that the news quickly spread among judges.

"When the mob stabbed doctors, you cheered; when the mob hurt police, you cheered; when the mob stabbed judges, you cheered; but when the mob stabbed you, who can protect you or justice," the judge said, adding that he wrote the verse after hearing the news to express his feelings.

"We are under extreme pressure in our daily work. What we expect is only trust and respect from society," he said, adding that judges shoulder more responsibilities than other occupations.

"The public authority of judges has not yet been founded in China. ... Judges should have tougher self-discipline requirements for themselves to establish the image of justice, and ordinary people should be accustomed to respect the law," said Bi Yuqian, a law professor at the China University of Political Science and Law.

"It is not shocking that a judge is stabbed in China. There is not a big difference between judges and other government employees. If the same case happened in other countries, it would be very shocking because judges represent social justice and law," Bi said.

However, the professor also said that judges should be more careful about their behavior.

Contact the writers through luowangshu@chinadaily.com.cn

(China Daily 09/11/2015 page4)