Chinese teenagers sentenced to hard labour for bullying

A young offender giving a speech at a school in China in May 2017

Teenage bullies – most of us know one, but is hard labour an appropriate punishment for offenders? Some social media users in China think so.

Young people in Beijing convicted of bullying can now be given sentences involving hard labour, in a move that has raised eyebrows on popular microblog Sina Weibo.

Fourteen girls aged 15 to 17 are currently involved in the five-to-seven day trial programme which began on Monday, and is run by the Tongzhou District People’s Court with local schools, according to local paper The Mirror. One student was given a sentence of one year and 10 months.

Image copyrightTHE MIRRORImage captionThe Tongzhou District People’s Court in Beijing launched the scheme on Monday

During the programme, young offenders take part in a gruelling course involving military training, after which schools assess whether they

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