A Peking University student, Yue Xin, has turned to the Ethereum blockchain to detail a letter regarding harassment over an old sexual misconduct case. The case dates back to the 1990s where a student name Gao Yan accused literature professor, Shen Yang, of rape and sexual harassment. The student committed suicide shortly after, which friends say was related to the case.
All though the accused teacher Shen Yang is no longer working at Peking University, the story of the 90’s sexual misconduct scandal recently emerged after a close friend of Gao’s published an article regarding the old case.
According to the article written by Li YouYou, Shen raped Gao on multiple occasions after inviting her to his place for “academic discussions”. Shen who was 40 at the time, was also “dating” other students. When Gao spoke up to school authorities, Shen had defended himself by saying Gao was a bad student and was in fact the one that seduced him. Hounded by campus rumors and harassment from Shen and the school to keep quiet about the ordeal, Gao took her own life in March 1998.
After the article was published a group of Peking University students demanded the school to publish all information regarding the case. The group complained that the original case received no publicity at the time and the charges against the teacher were swept under a rug. Shen received a verbal warning for the accusations against Gao and continued to teach at the university for a few years after.
One of the students leading the justice-seeking group, Yue Xin, has recently turned to the Ethereum blockchain to publish her letter. Prior publications posted on internet forums or Wechat were quickly taken down and censored, which prompted Yue to use Ethereum’s immutable ledger.
Yue Xin’s letter, titled “I recorded the PKU case in blockchain. No one can ever tamper with it and everyone has access to it”, can be found on the etherscan transaction input data after converting the data into UT8. The letter states:
Peking University teachers and classmates:
How are you!
I am Yueluo from the 2014 Foreign Languages Institute. I was one of the eight students who submitted the “Information Disclosure Application Form” to Peking University on the morning of April 9. I dragged my tired body and wrote this text to illustrate some of the things that have happened to me recently.
After April 9th, I was constantly interviewed by faculty members and leaders of the college, and it continued twice until midnight or even two. During the conversation, the student teacher repeatedly mentioned “Can you graduate successfully,” “Do what your mother and grandmother do,” and “Student teacher has the right not to contact you directly by your parents.” While I was preparing my graduation thesis recently, frequent interruptions and subsequent psychological pressures severely affected my thesis writing.
At noon on April 20, I received a reply from the school. The Secretary of the Party Committee of the School of Foreign Languages, the teacher of the Xuegong and the head teacher were present. The secretary of the Party Committee read to me the answer to the open information application of the school:
1. Discussing that Shenyang Shide’s meeting level is not enough
2. The investigation results of the Public Security Bureau are not in the scope of school management
3. The content of the public review in Shenyang was not found due to work errors in the Chinese Department.
The result of this reply disappointed me. However, the submission of graduation thesis will soon be closed, I can only focus on thesis writing.
At about 11 pm on April 22, the counselor suddenly called me, but because the time was late, I did not receive it. At one o’clock in the morning, the counselor and his mother suddenly came to my dormitory and forced me to wake up and asked me to delete all the information related to the information disclosure incident on my mobile phone and computer. After dawn, I went to the teacher to make a written guarantee Involved in this matter. Students on the same floor can testify. Later, I was taken home by my parents and I can’t return to school at the moment.
My mother and I were awake all night. Schools misrepresented the facts when they contacted their mothers, causing mothers to be overly frightened and emotionally collapsed. Because of the unreasonable intervention of the school, my relationship with my mother was almost broken. The current action of the college has already broken the bottom line. I feel fear and anger.
What is the crime of applying for information disclosure? I did not do anything wrong, nor would I regret having submitted the “Information Disclosure Application Form” to exercise my honorable rights as a college student in Beijing.
Twenty years of envy, I love my mother. In the face of her sorrowful cry, self-sacrifice, kneeling requests, and threats of suicide, my heart is bleeding. In her plea, I can only return home temporarily, but I can’t stand back from principle. Compromise can’t solve any problems. I have no choice but to write this statement and state the story.
Emotional, please forgive me for being incoherent.
Here, I formally submitted the following demands to the School of Foreign Languages of Peking University:
1. The School of Foreign Languages of Peking University should openly state in writing the rules and regulations on which I have pressured parents, forced me to interview me in the morning and asked me to delete the relevant information on the disclosure of application information. Illegal and non-compliance operations should be clearly defined during this process. And take measures to prevent such incidents from happening again.
2. The Peking University School of Foreign Languages should immediately cease all acts of pressure on my family, formally apologize to my already frightened mother, clarify the facts, and help repair the family tension caused by the incident.
3. The School of Foreign Languages of Peking University must make an open written guarantee that this matter will not affect my graduation and will not continue to interfere with my dissertation writing process.
4. The School of Foreign Languages of Peking University is responsible for eliminating all adverse effects of this matter on my studies, future employment and family members.
5. The School of Foreign Languages of Peking University should make a clear written response to the appeal and give it to everyone concerned.
I will retain all legal rights to further investigate the responsibilities of relevant individuals and units, including but not limited to reporting to Peking University and higher authorities the serious violation of school regulations by the Foreign Language Institute.
Peking University School of Foreign Languages
April 23, 2018
The link to the Ethereum transaction and Yue’s letter has begun to spread virally among Peking University students and Chinese media. Over 300 comments have been left on the transaction, where people discuss details of the case with out the threat of being censored.