Dans la soirée du 13 avril 2015, cinq défenseuses des droits humains, placées en détention en Chine pendant plus d'un mois, ont été mises en liberté conditionnelle. Les militantes Mme Wu Rongrong, Mme Li Tingting, aussi appelée "Li Maizi", Mme Zheng Churan, Mme Wei Tingting et Mme Wang Man, ont été arrêtées entre le 6 et le 8 mars 2015, à la veille du lancement d'une campagne nationale contre le harcèlement sexuel dans les transports publics, à l'occasion de la Journée internationale de la femme, le 8 mars 2015.
Wu Rongrong est une défenseuse des droits des femmes et une féministe qui travaille dans plusieurs ONG de défense des droits des femmes et contre la discrimination.
On the evening of 13 April 2015, five women's rights activists, detained in China for over a month, were conditionally released.
The women's rights activists, Ms Wu Rongrong, Ms Li Tingting, also known as “Li Maizi”, Ms Zheng Churan, Ms Wei Tingting and Ms Wang Man, were arrested between 6-8 March 2015, in advance of the intended launch of a national campaign against sexual harassment on public transport to coincide with the celebration of International Women's Day on 8 March 2015. The women, aged from 25 to 33, work to promote gender equality within China, and have supported or worked with Yirenping, a non-profit organisation which fights discrimination, promotes social justice and provides community outreach programmes. They were detained at the Haidian District Detention Centre in Beijing.
According to lawyers representing members of the group, the women's rights activists were released on bail pending trial, after prosecutors decided against the immediate pressing of criminal charges against them. They will be unable to travel without informing their local authorities for one year.
Release under such conditions indicates that the case against the five women remains open in effect, and that they could be detained again at any point.
While welcoming the release of the five women's rights activists, Front Line Defenders urges the Chinese government to drop all charges against them, for it is believed they are solely related to their work in the defence of women's rights
On 18 March 2015, the legal representative of women's rights activist Ms Wu Rongrong was informed that her health condition had continued to deteriorate during her detention in the Haidian District Detention Centre, Beijing. Reportedly, Ms Wang Man recently suffered a heart attack in the same detention centre, allegedly as a result of long hours of daily interrogation, and is now receiving medical treatment in the Public Safety Hospital. Both women work to promote gender equality.
On 23 March 2015, Wu Rongrong's legal representative attempted to visit the women's rights activist in Haidian District Detention Centre and was told that this would not be possible as Wu Rongrong was in a police hospital. At approximately 11 am three days before, around 16 persons who had gone to the Haidian District Detention Centre to demand that Wu Rongrong receive medical treatment, were taken away in three police cars and held for ten hours before being released. Reportedly, when Wu Rongrong met with her legal representative on 18 March 2015, the prison authorities had failed to provide her with medical treatment, despite having stated two days previously that they would do so.
Wu Rongrong, who is diagnosed with Hepatitis B, reportedly had her medication confiscated at the time of her arrest and has been required to sleep on the floor. Wu Rongrong's legal representative reports that when she met the women's rights activist on 16 and 18 March 2015, she was pale, suffering from pain in her liver and had been spitting up blood in the mornings. The women's rights activist was hospitalised for 12 days in February 2015, and if she continues to be denied medical treatment, she is at risk of liver failure.
The two gender equality activists were detained along with three other women's rights activists, Ms Li Tingting, Ms Zheng Churan and Ms Wei Tingtingamong, who were arrested across China between 6-8 March 2015, in advance of the intended launch on 7 March 2015 of a national campaign against sexual harassment on public transportation. The campaign was planned to coincide with the celebration of International Women's Day on 8 March 2015. To date, no charges have been brought against the women in detention.
Front Line Defenders expresses its grave concern for the physical and psychological integrity of Wu Rongrong and Wang Man, as well as the other detained women's rights activists. Front Line Defenders believes that the detentions are solely the result of their peaceful and legitimate work to promote gender equality.
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.