Thief in China Pilloried for Five Hours

By Lisa Huang
Lisa Huang
Lisa Huang
August 28, 2013 Updated: August 28, 2013

A thief was caught red-handed by security on Aug. 23 in the Hanyang District, of Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province and was then tied up in publc view for nearly five hours, according to the Wuhan Evening News.

The thief, a male aged about 30 years, was first tied to the railing outside an office, then taken to a 3 meter (approximately 10 feet) high wall in a busy area, where he was then tied with one end of the rope, the other end secured to the top of the wall. It is not clear if the man’s feet were still on the ground, but there was obvious bleeding on his lower legs.

By tying the thief to the wall in this manner, he was subjected to a form of the ancient punishment called the pillory. Criminals would be restrained in public view, sometimes in painful positions. The public punishment was a form of humiliation, and the public would often add to the criminal’s suffering with verbal or physical abuse.

Many people saw this thief’s humiliation, and some expressed disapproval. “Even thieves should have some dignity; when the police arrest people, they cover their heads.”

The district security chief said that since July 21, there had been a number of burglary cases, and when they finally caught the thief they also seized a stolen laptop, cell phones, watches, and an iPad.

Qiu Hua, a lawyer from Hubei Puming Law Firm suspected that tying up and pillory of anyone is against the law, and was “very unfitting.”

The man is now in the hands of police.

Translation by Irene Luo. Written in English by Christine Ford.

Lisa Huang
Lisa Huang