Petitioning United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and 1 other
Help Free Chinese Women Rights Defenders 自由中国女性人权捍卫者: #BeyondTheFive
She is one of the few remaining women human rights lawyers in China. Authorities have tried to stop her. State media staged a smear campaign against her. Court security guards assaulted her and judges threw her out of courtrooms. On July 9, police broke into her flat and abducted her, and she has since been disappeared. Her name is Wang Yu. We are seeking her freedom before the September 27th’s UN Summit on “female empowerment and gender equality” that China is co-hosting with UN Women in New York.
Wang Yu is not alone. The Chinese government under President Xi Jinping has persecuted many Chinese women human rights defenders. They have been detained, imprisoned, or disappeared, put under house arrest or police surveillance. Activist Cao Shunli paid with her life for trying to work with the UN. These women have faced reprisals simply for promoting human rights.
The Xi government is damaging “female empowerment and gender equality” by silencing women rights defenders. Detaining the Five Feminists before this year’s International Women’s Day made that clear. But #FreeTheFive became a global call for their freedom. Thanks to a remarkable show of support worldwide, the women were released, though are still treated as “criminal suspects” in China. Let’s rekindle the global campaign to help free other Chinese women defenders: #BeyondTheFive.
#BeyondTheFive include the 71-year old journalist Gao Yu, who was sentenced to 7 years for her reporting; Liu Ping, who is serving 6.5 years for seeking independent candidacy in a local election; Jia Lingmin, subjected to a sham trial after she fought legal battles for victims of forced eviction; and Su Changlan, detained for nearly a year for fighting discrimination against rural women.
The Chinese government also targets women simply for speaking out for their loved ones. Such is the case with Liu Xia, under house arrest for calling for the release of her husband, imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo; or Bian Xiaohui, sentenced to 3.5 years for trying to visit her father after he was imprisoned for his religious beliefs.
UN Women must ensure it partners with countries that protect women human rights defenders. The UN co-hosting a summit with a country whose government arrests, imprisons, and tortures women rights defenders makes a mockery of its own mission to empower women and promote gender equality.