Teenage orphan fight club under probe

A fight club using teenage boys in Sichuan Province is under police probe after video of the boys, said to be orphans, surfaced online recently.
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Education authorities in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, as well as the Chengdu police, are investigating a fight club in Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, which allegedly adopted orphans and trained them to be fighters, China Youth Daily reported.

Recently a video of two 14-year-old boys fighting in a cage circulated across social media and raised public awareness of the protection of minors. In the video, two young fighters said they are from Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan. They were adopted by a fight club called Enbo, named after its founder En Bo — an ex-SWAT member — as well as another 400-plus children, who received fight training there.

These children are alleged to be mostly orphans and those with nothing to survive on. One part of the video showed the two fighting in a cage with people snapping pictures around them.

Netizens queried whether the club's adoption of the children is legal, if the fights are used to make profits, and if the children's rights like education are being protected in this club.

Lin Shucheng, an executive of the prefecture's government, said the education bureau and working committee for the care of the next generation launched an investigation into this incident with Chengdu police.

"The club will be punished if it violated laws. But if these children have completed their nine years of basic education and like wrestling, they can choose their future," said Lin.

According to a Chengdu police officer, they are now trying to find out if the club's deeds are illegal and the other departments will be responsible for the remaining parts like children's rights.

A county education bureau in the autonomous prefecture told Southern Metropolis Daily that they hope these children can receive normal education rather than just wrestling training.

However, the club insisted they never attempted to control the children and said that they were all sent there by their guardians. They also invited instructors to teach the children Yi language, Chinese and Mathematics. They are now cooperating with police in their investigation.

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