The Chinese authorities must immediately drop charges and release five women activists who were detained for calling for an end to sexual harassment, Amnesty International said.
The five women - Wei Tingting, Wang Man, Li Tingting, Zheng Churan and Wu Rongrong -were criminally detained on Thursday for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles.” If convicted each face a maximum of five years in prison.
“Demanding that women are not sexually harassed is in no way a criminal act,” said William Nee, Amnesty International China Researcher.
“The charges against all five women should be dropped and the women immediately and unconditionally released. The Chinese authorities should be working with these women to address sexual harassment, not persecuting them.”
The women have been detained since last Saturday when they were taken into police custody ahead of events they had planned for International Women’s Day on 8 March. All five women are now believed to be held at Haidian Police Station in Beijing.