China Releases Feminists After a Month
The five activists
NEW DELHI: China released five feminists on Monday, who it had detained for over a month. The feminists, now popularly known as Beijing +5, had been detained just before International Women's Day last month, on suspicion of creating trouble and a law and order problem.
The girls' release is not unconditional and it has been made clear by the authorities that the charges are not wholly dropped, and can be invoked again.
"Their release is not a victory – they are still on bail and still are suspects... though released, the feminists’ activities are still being restricted and they are yet to gain their complete freedom." , said Liang Xiaoujin, the lawyer who represents Wu Rongrong, one of the detainees.
“Detaining people and locking them up for 37 days has now become a common practice for the police to put pressure on civil society … a great threat to everyone who seeks social justice”, the lawyer was reported as saying further.
The five feminists-- Wang Man, Zheng Churan, Wu Rongrong, Wei Tingting and Li Tingting-- have been agitating for equal women rights in the past. Even on the International Women's Day they had intended to post stickers and hold a protest against the exploitation of their rights.
The crackdown on the female protesters is being seen as a broad policy to undermine any organised movement for the civil rights by the minorities. Hundreds of protesters and been detained and then released over the last few years' leadership of Xi Jinping.
The detention of the feminists by the Chinese Authorities on flimsy ground has brought it stern admonitions from the international community in last one month. US Ambassador to United Nations, Samantha power had condemned the Chinese action to muzzle the protest and jailing the activists , and had called for the immediate release of the girls.
Last Friday, John Kerry, Secretary of State for US, also raised the concern of the jailed dissenters and had said, "each and every one of us has the right to speak out against sexual harassment and the many other injustices that millions of women and girls suffer around the world each and every day,”
Presidential candidate from Democratic Party, Hilary Clinton, too, called the Chinese action "inexcusable".
But all voices of, somewhat veiled rebuke, fell on deaf ears of Chinese Authorities until the day when they released the protesters. It has been reported that the police was bound to release them on Monday, which means after a certain number of days from detention, unless they were charged with some crime .