March 8, 2016
(Liu Ping (l) with lawyer Li Zhiyong (r) in Wukan, Guangdong province, in an undated photo.)
Rights groups called on Tuesday for the release of key women activists on International Women’s Day, as five feminists detained for planning a campaign event this time last year came under renewed pressure from police.
The overseas-based Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) network called in a statement for the immediate release from house arrest of artist and rights activist Liu Xia, under illegal house arrest since October 2010 after her husband Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Also listed in the appeal were top lawyer Wang Yu, who faces subversion charges for her human rights advocacy work, and pro-democracy and women’s rights activist Su Changlan, detained for her support of the 2014 pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.
The group also called for the release of Liu Ping, currently serving a six-and-a-half year jail term for sentenced to 6.5 years for exercising her rights to free assembly, expression, and religion, housing activist Jia Lingmin, serving a four-year sentence, and NGO worker Bian Xiaohui, jailed after she campaigned on behalf of her imprisoned father.
It said four other women, trainee lawyer Li Shuyun, paralegals Zhao Wei, also known as Kaola, and Gao Yue and activist Wang Fang were all detained in a nationwide police operation targeting more than 300 lawyers, law firm staff and legal activists since Wang Yu’s detention on the night of July 9.