A court in Beijing has reportedly received 18 homicide cases in 2016 involving people who were demanding their salary, which have attracted public attention as delays in the payment of wages usually happen more frequently at the end of the year.
The Beijing No. 3 Intermediate People's Court said on Thursday that it received the cases, thepaper.cn reported, adding that 24 people were allegedly involved, 19 of whom were sentenced to more than 15 years in jail.
The report also said that 70 percent of these cases occurred from December 2015 to February 2016.
Violent cases caused by the demand for wages always happen around Spring Festival when employees want to take their annual earnings home, Wang Zhenyu, deputy director of the Public Decision-Making Research Center at the China University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times on Thursday.
A man surnamed Guo was sentenced to seven years in jail for setting fire to another person's car in Beijing's Huairou district over the salary issue in March 2016, thepaper.cn reported. The fire spread to nearby buildings and caused 300,000 yuan in damage, the report added.
These people resorted to violence after they failed to get their salary despite repeated demands, Yu Zhen, a chief judge at the Beijing No. 3 Intermediate People's Court, was quoted by thepaper.cn as saying. Most defendants are poorly educated and don't know how to protect their rights in a legal way, said Yu.
Wang added that the legal process takes long, but the violence appears to be a more direct and sometimes more effective solution.
Creditors are given two years for litigation, but after that period, unless the debtors return the loan themselves, the court won't support the creditors' request, according to China's General Principles on Civil Law.
However, gambling loans, drug trafficking and usury are not protected by law, said Wang