Sophia Huang (Huang Xueqin) and Wang Jianbing are expected to face trial soon in China after months in detention. The two have been incommunicado, even their lawyers unable to contact them.
Huang Xueqin, a women’s rights activist and award winning journalist, and Wang Jianbing, a labor rights activist, have been jailed for months in China on charges of “inciting subversion of state power”. The two had been meeting before their detention with other activists at Wang’s apartment in Guanzhou. They were reportedly working on community organizing issues such as workers’ and LGBTQ rights.
According to friends of Huang and Wang, police investigations and interrogations seem to have wrapped up. Now it appears that both are back in Guangzhou No 1 Detention Centre. Now it is believed that their trials will begin soon. It is also now hoped that they will have access to their lawyers, which until now they have not.
It is also being reported that 70 people associated with Wang and Huang were summoned to provide statements on the two activists. They were also said to have been forced to sign statements disavowing them as well.
Activists often face similar circumstances in China, especially when dealing with topics like gender and labor issues that make the government look bad. Huang has been arrested previously, exactly what for is not incredibly clear. It is likely that it was at least in part due to her observations and seeming support of the 2019 anti-extradition protests in Hong Kong and her experiences in Taiwan. She has also done lots of reporting regarding the #MeToo movement in China, which has recently come back into the spotlight largely due to the controversy surrounding the CCP’s handling of Peng Shuai. All sore subjects for the Chinese government.
Hopefully the two will soon be freed, though with the seriousness of the charges levied against them, it seems that it will likely be an uphill battle. Just like others currently detained in China on trumped up charges, such as Lee Ming-che who is supposed to be released soon, the world must pay attention and call for the Chinese government to be transparent in these matters and allow those accused due process and fair trials. The global community must likewise call for the end of arbitrary detainment by Chinese authorities.
Stay tuned here for updates in the coming days and months. Readers can also follow Free Xueqin&Jianbing 释放雪饼 on Twitter for new information as well!