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Beijing Stomps on Civil Society

Apr 17 , 2015

Chinese authorities last month arrested five Chinese women who were planning a campaign against sexual harassment on public transportation. Amid an international Twitter campaign calling for their release, #FreeTheFive, authorities released them on bail Monday.

Hash-taggers are now declaring victory. Even though the women are under continued investigation and face severely restricted freedoms, their defenders say the case proves Beijing will bend to international pressure.

But did Beijing really capitulate? On Tuesday the Foreign Ministry said the government will prosecute Beijing Yirenping Center, a prominent Chinese NGO. The statement alleged the group, which fights discrimination against the sick and disabled, broke the law.

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