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China's Supreme Court overturns death sentence for victim of domestic violence

Published on Jun 24, 2014 9:45 PM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China's top court has overturned the death sentence of a woman convicted of killing her husband after years of violent abuse, her lawyer said on Tuesday, in a move activists say shows the government could be serious about battling domestic violence.

The landmark case of Li Yan, which was widely discussed on the Internet in China, highlights the plight of victims of domestic violence, and drew the attention of international human rights groups.

The decision "will have an exemplary effect" on similar future lawsuits, Li's lawyer, Guo Jianmei, told Reuters, as it may be the first case in China to overturn capital punishment for the killing of a domestic abuser.

"It means domestic violence cases, especially those in which violence is used to counter violence, will receive greater attention from various parties, especially the courts," said Mr Guo, a pro bono lawyer who specializes in women's rights.

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