The Guardian China has rejected calls from Britain, the US ambassador to the UN and others to release five feminist activists detained just before International Women’s Day. by Tania Branigan
'Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for the country’s foreign ministry, said
she had no specific details about the cases, but insisted: “No one has
the right to ask China
to release relevant persons, so we hope that relevant people will stop
interfering in China’s judicial sovereignty in such a manner.”
'The women have been held for nearly three weeks on charges of
disturbing public order. They had planned to distribute stickers calling
for action against sexual harassment. Beijing police told Associated
Press that they too had no information on the cases.
'In the UK, a Foreign Office spokesperson expressed deep concern
about the detentions and said: “We are particularly concerned by
reports that they have been denied due legal process, and at least one,
Wu Rongrong, denied access to adequate medical care.
'“We urge China to release all those detained for exercising their
rights to freedom of expression, in line with China’s constitution and
international human rights commitments.”
'Wu has hepatitis B and spent the month before her arrest in hospital,
but was reportedly denied medication for more than a week prior to her
transfer to the detention centre’s medical facility. Her former lawyer
Wang Fei said she was experiencing pain in the liver area and had blood
in her phlegm.
'Before her transfer, she told Wang that she had been forced to sleep
on a concrete floor and denied regular medication by authorities who
said her condition did not require treatment.'