Journalist Sophia Huang Xueqin, a leading activist in China’s MeToo movement, has been put on trial for subversion on September 22, 2023 along with her co-accused labour campaigner Wang Jianbing. They are accused of “inciting subversion of state power”. The two were arrested in Guangzhou on September 19, 2021, the day before Huang was planning to leave China for the UK to study for a master’s degree.
According to Amnesty International, “both activists have been prevented from seeing family members. Meanwhile, dozens of their friends have been summoned by the police and had their homes searched and devices confiscated. Sophie Huang Xueqin is believed to have been subjected to ill-treatment in detention, leading to the dramatic deterioration of her health”.
“Sophia Huang Xueqin and Wang Jianbing represent the courageous wave of younger Chinese activists who have connected with the public concerned about social issues. They have been targeted for their peaceful activism on women’s and labour rights by a government that fears organized dissent,” said Sarah Brooks, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for China.
The two Chinese activists are facing lengthy jail sentences for their peaceful activism. A group of 32 NGOs led by Amnesty International issued a joint statement demanding the charges against them are dropped and they be released immediately and unconditionally.