Chinese #MeToo journalist jailed for five years

By AFP
June 15, 2024
Sophia Huang Xueqin seen holding a placard with 'MeToo' written on it. — Screen grab/YouTube/file

SHANGHAI: Chinese journalist and #Metoo activist Sophia Huang Xueqin was sentenced to five years in prison on Friday on charges of “inciting subversion of state power” after she became a symbol of the country´s stalled feminist movement.

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She was sentenced alongside labour activist Wang Jianbing, who was handed three years and six months, a group of their supporters said on social media platform X.

Huang wrote on social media about her experience of workplace sexual harassment as a young journalist at a Chinese news agency, in the wake of the global #MeToo movement.

With Wang, she was involved in running a regular gathering in the southern city of Guangzhou, a member of the supporters´ group told AFP last year, before they were both detained in 2021.

On Friday the court said the meetings, which took place from November 2020, “incited participants´ dissatisfaction with Chinese state power under the pretext of discussing social issues”, according to the “Free Huang XueQin & Wang JianBing” group.

Their trial took place in 2023 behind closed doors, with international rights groups raising concerns over the pair´s health during their detention.

On Friday, supporters posted pictures they said showed barriers erected around Guangzhou Intermediate People´s Court, where the sentencing took place, with a heavy police presence.

Attempts to contact the court were unsuccessful, and the sentencing is not currently available on China´s national court document database.

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