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Music hall accused of discrimination
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Citizens in the southern metropolis of Shenzhen have accused a local music hall of discrimination for preventing children shorter than 1.2 meters from attending concerts and other performances there.

The Shenzhen Concert Hall, which opened in September, created the regulation to "guarantee the effects of the performance," Wang Lei, the music venue's general manager, told the Southern Metropolis Daily.

"In our hall audiences can enjoy natural sound effects without amplifying facilities. And we don't want them to be disturbed by noises made by kids," Wang said. Although the rule is a bit unreasonable, it is the best means of cutting down on disruptions by children, he said.

Public reaction to the rule has been mixed. Some residents are questioning why children should not be permitted inside a public venue. One woman said her daughter loves to see the ballet, and it is a pity that she will not be able to watch it in the concert hall.

A citizen surnamed Ma said the regulation discriminates against children. Listening to classical music is good for children's development, he said, and the music hall has not been built only for adults.

Liu Zhenglong, an attorney at a local law firm, said there is no legal basis for the regulation. Children are entitled to use public facilities, including music halls, according to the Law on the Protection of Minors.
(CRI December 24, 2007)

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