Five prominent members of China’s growing feminist movement are expected to be prosecuted shortly after spending the last month in jail over what can only be described as peaceful protests.
Wei Tingting, Li Tingting, Zheng Churan, Wu Rongrong, and Wang Man were among several arrested last month in the hours leading up to International Women’s Day, when they were planning a protest against sexual harassment on China’s public transportation. These five women are the only ones still incarcerated, while their ‘co-conspirators’ are in hiding amid a massive campaign against them. They are unfortunately just the latest victims of President Xi Jinping’s war on dissenters, though they are the first who were not directly critical of the Communist Party. Instead their focus was on issues including domestic violence and gender discrimination.
The women are charged with “picking quarrels and provoking troubles,” which could result in as many as ten years in prison, which is shocking given that their past four weeks behind bars is extreme in itself. To make matters worse, the women are suffering from poor health relating to their treatment, including a heart attack brought on by Wang’s interrogation.
International condemnation of these events has been growing, and rightly so, as comparisons are being made to Pussy Riot, a Russian group of dissidents who were openly critical of Vladimir Putin’s government. Their treatment seems almost reasonable in comparison, while nonetheless being just as worthy of the outrage it received.
Clearly people must be critical of Xi Jinping as well, after this latest abuse of human rights.
Image: “Xi jinping Brazil 2013” by Michel Temer – https://www.flickr.com/photos/micheltemer/10722165254 知识共享 署名 2.0 維基共享資源。