5 young women detained in China for planning protest aganst sexual harassment

China: Release IWD activists

March 12, 2015

Li Tingting © Private

Five young women activists have been detained in unknown locations in China after planning to hold events against sexual harassment to mark International Women’s Day. They could be at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

On 6 March at 4pm, Wei Tingting (韦婷婷)(26)  and Wang Man (王曼)(32) were taken to Haidian Police Station in Beijing.

Around midnight the same day, Li Tingting (李婷婷)(aka Li Maizi) (李麦子)(26) and Zheng Churan (郑楚然)(aka Da Tu) (大兔)(26) were taken away from their homes in Beijing and Guangzhou respectively.

Wu Rongrong (武嵘嵘)(30) (pictured right) was detained upon her arrival at Hangzhou 

Airport on 7 March at 2pm. Later that day, a friend of Wu Rongrong received a call from her with cries of pain. The line was cut almost instantly and she could not be reached again. The authorities confiscated the women’s computers, phones, and materials for events they were planning to mark International Women’s Day. Police also raided Weizhiming Women Center office in Hangzhou, a women’s rights NGO that Wu Rongrong founded and where Zheng Churan and Li Tingting are staff. According to their lawyers, none of their families have received formal notice of their detention.

On 12 March they were criminally detained on suspicion of ‘picking quarrels and provoking troubles’, a charge often used in China to suppress human rights defenders and activists and which can lead to a sentence of up to five years in prison. The authorities can now hold the women for up to 37 days before deciding whether to formally charge them. A lawyer was able to visit them for the first time on 12 March at Haidian Police Station in Beijing, after previously being told they were not being held there. 

Li Tingting and Zheng Churan are pictured left © Private

All five are members of Women’s Rights Action Group. They were planning to hold public events calling for an end to sexual harassment on public transportation in several cities in China on 7 March. They had made stickers to distribute at the events, printed with “Stop sexual harassment, let us stay safe” and “Go police go, arrest those who committed sexual harassment!” 

Wu Rongrong has been suffering from chronic liver problems, and was in poor health condition when she was taken away. There are grave concerns about her health, as she may not be receiving the treatment she needs.

Please mail a letter to the Head of the Haidan Detention Centre.

  • Start with Dear Director and a sentence about yourself, such as from where you are writing, to make your message unique.
  • Insist that he immediately discloses the whereabouts and legal status of Wu Rongrong, Zheng Churan, Li Tingting, Wei Tingting and Wang Man.
  • Urge him to immediately and unconditionally release the five women if they are being detained solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and association.
  • Call on him to ensure without delay that they all have regular, unrestricted access to their lawyers and family, and are protected from torture and other ill-treatment.  

Address your appeals to

Yin Yanjing
Head of Haidian District Public Security Bureau Sub-branch
Haidian District Public Security Bureau Sub-branch
15 Changchunlu, Haidian District
Beijing, 100089
People's Republic of China 

Postage: $2.50

Please send a copy to

His Excellency Luo Zhaohui
Ambassador for the People's Republic of China
515 St. Patrick Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 5H3

Postage: $.85
Fax:   (613) 789-1911
Email:  chinaemb_ca@mfa.gov.cn

Additional information

Wu Rongrong, Zheng Churan, Wang Man, Li Tingting, Wei Tingting are active members of Women’s Rights Action Group which advocates women’s rights and campaigns against gender discrimination. In the past few years, the group led several successful campaigns raising public awareness on gender equality issues. They staged “Occupy the Men's Toilets” to challenge the lack of public facilities for women, shaved their heads to protest higher college admission requirements for female applicants, and organized a street protest where demonstrators wore wedding dresses spattered with red ink to bring public attention to the issue of domestic violence.

If you wish to receive updates on this case, email urgentaction@amnesty.ca. In the subject line, write “Keep me updated on Li Tingting and friends”.

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