13 Sep 2017/wednesday
Wu and four other young feminists were arrested in March 2015 and detained for a month by Beijing police over a plan to stage protests in the capital and Guangzhou against sexual harassment. The case triggered an international outcry and was seen as part of a widening campaign by the Chinese government to squash civil society.
One of China’s “feminist five” gender equality activists arrested two years ago for handing out stickers has been denied a permit to study in Hong Kong by a county-level public security authority and told she is banned from leaving the mainland for a decade.
Wu Rongrong, part of a group of campaigners arrested in 2015, had been set to study law in Hong Kong until mainland authorities blocked the move. Wu Rongrong will not realise her “long-held dream of studying law in Hong Kong” since the failure to secure a permit means she will be unable to enrol at the University of Hong Kong’s law faculty by September 21 as told to by staff.
“The head of the national security branch told me that I had been under investigation for two years since the 2015 incident with the ‘feminist five’,” the 32-year-old social worker, currently based in Hangzhou, said.
The branch stated in a notice dated May 4 that Wu would not be allowed to set foot outside the mainland for 10 years because she was involved in “other illegal cases yet to be handled”. The notice had been handed to a superior authority in Luliang by the Jiaocheng police as supporting evidence and kept in case files that Wu was allowed to read but not make copies of China’s Feminist Five unbowed a year after detention, says activist in Hong Kong for forum. The fight against gender violence goes on for China’s ‘Feminist Five’.
After the case against her was dropped last year, Wu began a year-long process preparing to study law in Hong Kong, taking the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), an English proficiency test, three times.
In late March this year, Wu applied for a new travel permit in Jiaocheng, where her household registration, a government record commonly known as hukou, was based. Her old permit had no more blank pages for stamps.
“A county-level public security authority has no power at all to limit a citizen’s freedom to leave China,” said mainland-based human rights lawyer Chang Boyang. “And on what legal and factual basis have they decided to set a duration of up to 10 years?”
Chang said that if police wanted to deny departure from China due to an unfinished investigation, they must apply for an injunction with national authorities using clear and specific reasons.
There are many anomalies in the investigations and the verdict but the fact remains that citizens of Communist China has to pay for raising their voice against any act which is not lied by the Chinese Government.