CHINA – Six Chinese animal activists have gone on trial for allegedly abducting a group of suspected animal torturers and then force-feeding them cat excrement.
The vigilante campaigners went on trial earlier this week in Shanghai accused of guiding their two victims who they suspected were behind a series of gruesome online videos showing the torture or cats and dogs, into a forest.
Once they were there, the six activists reportedly set upon their victims, two men named only as Liu and Yi.
One vigilante, a woman called Xu, allegedly threw a specially blended cocktail of cat litter and cat excrement onto one of the men.
Another attacker, known as Cao, used scissors to cut off a vidtim’s hair.
“Both Liu and Yi suffered bruises all over the body,” the Shanghai Daily newspaper stated.
Halfway through the assault, one of the assailants reportedly twigged that Liu and Yi were not, in reality, animal torturers, according to the Global Times newspaper.
However, the rest of the gang continued the assaults. As a coda to their foul-smelling ambush, they stuffed both of the victims’ mouths with animal faeces.
The activists stand accused of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” a crime which carries a potential jail sentence of up to five years.
However, the Shanghai Daily said the victims had already “forgiven” four of their attackers after they had received cash compensation payments.
Xu, the cat litter thrower, told the court that she was sorry for committing the offense.
“I feel guilty about the attack,” she said. “As an animal rights activist, I should protect not only animals, but also human beings.”
A verdict in this case is expected next week.
A series of brutal videos showing the mistreatment of cats and dogs have surfaced on the Chinese internet in recent years, horrifying both campaigners and animal lovers who fear the world will believe all Asians are cruel to animals finding pleasure in torturing them.
In several cases online vigilantes have responded by launching so-called “human flesh searches”, a kind of internet witch hunt designed to identify – and punish the parties responsible.
One such hunt was launched in 2011 in the wake of a viral video that appeared to show a womhan in Beijing drowning a cat in a puddle.
Two years earlier, there was a similar online campaign after a university student in Hebei province was witnessed blowing up a cat.
The moral of the story is, there is good and bad in everyone.