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Home > impact on women / resistance > China celebrates March 8 by arresting women activists

China celebrates March 8 by arresting women activists

Tuesday 10 March 2015, by siawi3

Source: International Coalition of Women Human Rights defenders
March 9

China - Arrest of at least five women’s rights defenders

Between 6-8 March 2015, at least five women’s rights defenders were arrested across China in advance of the intended launch on 7 March 2015 of a national campaign against sexual harassment on public transportation. Five women’s rights defenders reportedly remain in detention, namely Ms Wu Rongrong, Ms Li Tingting, also known as “Li Maizi”€ , Ms Zheng Churan, Ms Wei Tingting and Ms Wang Man.

The five human rights defenders in detention are all working to promote gender equality, and have supported or worked with Yirenping, a non-profit organisation which fights discrimination, promotes social justice and provides community outreach programmes. The organisation has offices throughout China and advocates for equal rights for people with hepatitis, H.I.V./AIDS and disabilities.

On the evening of 6 March 2015, police officers in Beijing reportedly detained Li Tingting. The same day, Zheng Churan was detained by the police in Guangzhou. The homes of Li Tingting and Zheng Churan were both searched. Wei Tingting and Wang Man were also detained in Beijing, and Wu Rongrong was arrested in Hangzhou. It is believed that all five human rights defenders are being held in Haidian District Detention Centre in Beijing. Their families have received no notification of the detentions or of the charges against the human rights defenders, and they have not been allowed to contact their legal representatives. The detentions began on the second day of the annual meeting in Beijing of the National People’s Congress.

The campaign was planned to coincide with the celebration of International Women’s Day on 8 March 2015. Participants were to join a march in a Beijing park wearing stickers advocating safe sex and action against sexual harassment, and put stickers on public transportation vehicles. Gatherings were to be held in Beijing and Guangzhou calling for awareness of sexual harassment on buses.

Front Line Defenders expresses its grave concern at the arrest of at least five women’s rights defenders in China, and the ongoing detention of Wu Rongrong, Li Tingting, Zheng Churan, Wei Tingting and Wang Man. Front Line Defenders believes that the arrests solely result from their peaceful and legitimate activities in the defence of women’s rights.

Front Line Defenders urges the authorities in China to:

1. Immediately and unconditionally release all the women’s rights defenders arrested, including Wu Rongrong, Li Tingting, Zheng Churan, Wei Tingting and Wang Man, as Front Line believes that they are being held solely as a result of their legitimate and peaceful work in the defence of women’s rights;

2. Ensure that the treatment of the human rights defenders, while in detention, adheres to the conditions set out in the ’Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment’, adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 43/173 of 9 December 1988;

3.Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in China are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.