Civic groups in Lilongwe, Malawi, marched in protest over the actions of Chinese national Lu Ke, who was arrested by Zambian authorities after filming a racist video involving local children, calling for him to be tried in the country rather than sent back to China, the Nyasa Times reported on Wednesday.
Protesters from the University of Malawi Child Rights Legal Clinic and other civil society organizations also called for compensation and psychological support for the children exploited by Lu and made to say racist things about themselves in Chinese, the paper said.
The Maravi Post cited clinic supervisor Garton Kamchedzera as saying that Lu’s treatment of the children was in breach of the Malawian constitution.
The group said it would also deliver a petition to the Chinese embassy.
The paper said Lu had been “using violence to force the children say the phrases he wanted.”
Lu fled the country after being outed by BBC journalist Runako Celina as the maker of a video in which children from Lilongwe’s Njerwa village said “I am a black ghost. I have a low IQ” to camera. The phrase “black ghost” is considered the Chinese equivalent of the N-word.
Lu’s video was far from being a one-off. Celina’s documentary also uncovered a lucrative industry in short videos featuring Africans.
“There’s something inherently sinister in swanning into a village somewhere in Africa, tossing a few coins at people less privileged than you and being able to instruct them to do whatever you want,” Celina wrote in an article on the BBC website after the documentary aired.
“If the price (or pay off) is high enough, or the sense of humor crude enough the possibilities are endless.”
“It’s this exact boundless freedom, plus a deeply ingrained racist ideology that has made an online Chinese industry I’ve spent the last year investigating possible,” she wrote.