Two women have been detained by police over claims a Beijing daycare center engaged in widespread child abuse. The CEO of the daycare chain RYB has issued an apology as authorities opened an official investigation.
Two women were detained in Beijing, police said Saturday, over their alleged involvement in a school abuse scandal that has shocked China.
Authorities have begun an official investigation into the goings-on at the city's RYB Education New World kindergarten after parents complained that their children had needle marks on their bodies and had been given unknown medication.
According to China's Xinhua news agency, there were also claims that the children were "sexually molested."
One of the women was detained for "using the internet to fabricate and disseminate fake news" after she claimed military personnel at a base near the RYB kindergarten were involved in the abuse. Although rumors about the soldiers stationed near the daycare center have been circulating for some time, authorities say there is still "no evidence" that anyone from the army were involved in the scandal.
The other detainee was a 22-year-old teacher, who has been arrested "on suspicion of abusing those under her care."
String of scandals
RYB Education manages dozens of daycare centers across China, and its parent company has been publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange since September.
The company's chief executive officer, Shi Yinlai, issued an apology for the "severe disquiet" the accusations had caused, and promised that "if any wrongdoing is found, we will not shirk the responsibility."
This is the third major scandal to hit an RYB kindergarten in the past year. In April, the company apologized for "severe mistakes" made at a Beijing branch after a video surfaced showing a teacher throwing a child on a bed and kicking another child in the back.
In October, according to the People's Court Daily newspaper, two teachers from an RYB daycare in northeast Jilin province were sentenced to 34 months in jail for jabbing children with sewing needles.
es/jlw (AFP, Reuters)