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Montreal, February 10, 2010 --- A Chinese couple in Saint-Sauveur who was assaulted, spat on and verbally insulted with racial slurs by three white French youths back in the summer of 2006 has finally been awarded $7,000 by the Quebec human rights commission.

On August 2nd, 2006, Mr. Peter Zeng and Ms. Richelle Ye, who had been living with their 7 year old son in Saint-Sauveur since December 2003, were the target of a hate-motivated assault and death threats in a park near their young son's day camp. Mr. Zeng was pushed and punched by a male while Ms. Ye was spat on and pushed by two females who hurled racial slurs, such as “F. you Chinese” and “Go back to your country.” A security guard stopped the three youths from further assaulting them. The Saint-Sauveur police later arrested and charged one of the youths with assault and uttering death threats.

The couple believed the assault was related to the theft of their dog several weeks earlier by a group of youths. Their dog was recovered thanks partly to a private detective they hired.

The couple sought CRARR's help to file a civil rights complaint against all three youths, two of whom were minors at the time. In a decision released two weeks ago, the human rights commission ruled in favor of the couple, requiring the two-then minors (who are now adults) and their parents to pay the couple $3,000 and $2,000 respectively in moral damages. A third young woman is also required to pay the couple $2,000. In addition, the youths are required to take a sensitivity training session in discrimination, which the commission will hold.

Speaking on behalf of the couple, CRARR's Executive Director Fo Niemi stated that the couple is generally pleased with the outcome, but added that the amount of damages was deemed to be somewhat low and might not serve as an effective deterrent. Furthermore, the couple is concerned that the commission took three years to investigate and issue a decision on a clear-cut case that had already gone through the juvenile justice system.

Nevertheless, CRARR encourages Chinese Quebecers to come forward and file complaints against acts of racial discrimination and violence. “Mr. Zeng and Ms. Ye hope that their action will inspire other Chinese people in Canada to stand up for their rights”, said Mr. Niemi.

The youths and their parents have until February 26 to pay the damages, failing which the case will be brought to the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal.

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