Pu Zhiqiang was one of lawyers who represented Tang Hui, who was sent to a labour camp in 2012 for seeking justice for the rape, kidnap and prostitution of her 11-year-old daughter.
The Chinese courts initially sentenced two of the men to death, and five others long prison sentences. But Tang, unsatisfied with the decision, sought appeal with the provincial high court in Changsha and in Beijing. The local authorities in Yongzhou deemed the actions an embarrassment and ordered Tang be sent to re-education through labour for 18 months in August 2012.
The sentence generated a storm of criticism over the country’s notorious camps and the authorities decided to set her free. Tang later sued the committee responsible for her original labour camp sentence.
In July 2013, the Hunan provincial authorities found for Tang, ordering $429 as compensation for an official act of injustice.
In late December 2013, the South China Morning Post reported that “the mainland’s notorious re-education-though-labour system [was] officially history.” The decision by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee to abolish the 56-year old system came after a six-day meeting in Beijing.