China Reportedly Frees Last Two Members of The Beijing Five; Activists Now Under “Conditional Release”
Yesterday we were relieved to learn that three members of “The Beijing Five,” a group of feminist activists detained without charges for over a month after being arrested while distributing anti-domestic violence stickers and posters last International Women’s Day, had been released from jail; at the time, the fate of remaining members Wu Rongrong and Li Tingting was unknown.
Thankfully, the Associated Press is now reporting that lawyer Liang Xiaojun says all five women had been released as of Monday night:
Other lawyers could not be reached by phone, but posted messages on social media saying their clients had been freed. Calls to the Haidian District Detention Center in western Beijing where they had been held rang unanswered Monday night.
According to Xiaojun, Li Tingting, Wei Tingting, Zheng Churan, Wu Rongrong and Wang Manthe are now under a conditional release and may be charged at a later date.
Speaking to the AP, Amnesty International called the women’s release an “encouraging breakthrough” but “incomplete.” Amnesty International’s China researcher William Nee explains,
Women’s rights campaigners should be free to advance human rights without fear of intimidation or the threat of detention. Yet the reality today is that rights activists are systematically monitored, harassed and suppressed.