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Website Ordered to Pay Damages for Mocking Mentally Ill Man
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A Chinese website has been ordered to pay 20,000 yuan in compensation by a Beijing court for publishing photographs of a 63-year-old man, diagnosed as mentally ill, dressed up like a teenage girl.

A court in the capital's Xuanwu District also told news website China Economic Net (www.ce.cn) to publish an apology to the man, surnamed Zhang, on its website for ten days in a verdict released on Monday.

The website published photos of the man wearing brightly colored dresses and his hair in plaits two years ago under the title "The Fair Lady of the Village" and they spread rapidly over the Internet.

Zhang's daughter filed a lawsuit against China Economic Net after seeing the photos, demanding an apology and 50,000 yuan in compensation.

The judge said Zhang's "abnormal behavior" was the direct result of his mental illness, which should not be mocked. "Instead, the public should offer him more care and help," he said.

The website also infringed Zhang's rights to his own image by publishing the photos without his consent, the court heard.

(Xinhua News Agency June 20, 2007)

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