Monday, 02. March 2015
09. 06. 14. - 16:00
Child protection services in China are virtually non-existent - as the tragic pictures of this little boy show.
Despite being covered in scars after years of mistreatment at the hands of a cruel and sadistic mother, nine-year-old Xiao Long had been forced to stay with her.
He lives with her in the remote Nanxi village in south-eastern China’s Fujian province. Locals say that his mother Lin Lijie is "weird" and a woman driven to scarring him because of multiple failed marriages which have left her bitter and twisted.
Locals recount a litany of horrors carried out upon the defenceless child, including having his ears cut with scissors, his body burned with matches, and his chest and legs cut with knives.
Just days ago she used her fingernails to scratch her son’s whole body.
Neighbours feed and tend the boy when they can but are fearful of the mother, and the revenge she might extract on him if they are seen. They had reported her to local communist party officials but authorities did not take any action.
"The boy should be in a home, not with her," said one. "We hear his screams at night and they are terrible."
But the latest attack may have been a watershed as after hearing the boy in a particular bad state, a distraught local walked twenty miles to the nearest police station and had the mother arrested.
The boy is being cared for at a local hospital, but it is unclear whether he will be found a permanent refuge - or be forced to return to live with her when she is released.
Now his mother is being held for 15 days and for that time at least he is safe, but after she is released it is unclear what the future will hold for the boy.
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