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Chinese authorities bringing charges against 5 detained women’s rights activists

By WITW Staff on April 9, 2015

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Last Monday, Hillary Clinton called for the release of the 5 women’s rights activists, annoying China by declaring that their month-long detention is “inexcusable,” putting her support behind a growing international movement that is demanding to #freethefive.  Today, however, police officers have asked the prosecutors to bring charges against them for “organizing a crowd to disturb public order,” according to the lawyers for two of them. The police’s filing means that the 5 can be detained for seven more days, while the prosecutors decide whether to bring charges or not. The charges are tied to their public actions, according to one lawyer: an attempt to organize a nationwide campaign against sexual harassment on public transportation, and a public protest against domestic violence in which the activists wore fake blood-stained wedding dresses. The second lawyer added that the charges also relate to a campaign in which they occupied public restrooms for men in order to protest “toilet inequality.” While the original charge brought against them was for “picking quarrels,”  the new charges are equally severe and could lead to a sentence of up to 5 years in prison. To be continued…

Read the full story at The New York Times.