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22/3/2019  
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INCLUSION POLICIES
Selfless feminist activists acting for the good of society

Five Chinese Feminists released six weeks after their detention in Beijing


The five Chinese feminist activists were detained on March 6, on suspicion of "picking quarrels and stirring up trouble" a catch-all charge often used to target critics of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
JACR 15/4/2015 Send to a friend
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Wei Tingting, Zheng Churan, Wang Man, Wu Rongrong and Li Tingting were released “on bail”, on Monday 13th evening, said defence lawyer Liang Xiaojun. “They still have the status of suspects, although they are no longer in detention,” said Liang. “Even though they have been released, there are still curbs on their freedom.” According to the lawyers, their detention was far beyond the legal time limit for criminal detention in the absence of approval of their formal arrest by the state prosecutor, which is based on a 30-day limit.

However, the women and their lawyers said they were only organizing a social awareness campaign against sexual harassment for International Women´s Day, without breaking any China´s laws. Their detention sparked widespread condemnation from human rights groups and U.S. and European Union (EU) officials, who called for their prompt release, and from their own lawyers, who said their plans for a public awareness campaign were well within Chinese law.

An open letter issued by activists’ relatives and sent to the Chinese authorities described them as selfless campaigners for the good of society. “They each work in their respective positions and areas to make their own contribution to the socialist cause”, it also states that “equality between men and women has been a basic policy of our nation ever since the era of Mao Zedong”.

The situation with activism in China highlights a nationwide crackdown on nongovernmental groups and grassroots charity organizations, where many of their former associates were detained and questioned by China´s State Security Police in recent weeks.

This actions contradicts the Chinese government commitment to “ensure equal enjoyment of all human rights and basic freedoms for all women and girls” pledged in the Beijing Declaration issued at the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995.

The ruling Chinese Communist Party has promoted gender equality, at least in theory, since it came to power in 1949. But activists said the reality is very different and discrimination is still represents a major obstacle for Chinese women, who face habitual workplace discrimination, harassment and domestic violence, nowadays. 

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