Chinese feminist: Long hours of interrogations after release

AP News
Posted: Apr 25, 2015 1:02 AM

BEIJING (AP) — One of five leading Chinese feminist advocates said she went through lengthy and verbally abusive interrogations after she was conditionally released in a case that has attracted international attention.

Wu Rongrong, a 30-year-old advocate for women's rights, said in a statement released Saturday that she endured an eight-hour police interrogation in a hotel room in the eastern city of Hangzhou. She said her interrogators insulted her at length, calling her selfish and ungrateful and telling her that she brought shame to social activists.

"I finally walked out of the horrible Room 226 at 10:30 p.m.," Wu wrote. "In cold winds, I was full of tears. I felt both my body and my mind were near collapse. I didn't know my way home. I was helpless and scared."

Wu could not be reached as she was banned from speaking to the media, but her lawyer Lu Zhoubin confirmed the statement's authenticity.

A policeman who Wu alleged was involved in her interrogations declined to be interviewed, and Beijing police did not immediately respond to a faxed request for comments.

Wu and four others were detained last month, just ahead of the International Women's Day, as they were planning to hand out stickers and flyers against sexual harassment in several Chinese cities.

The detentions of Wu, Li Tingting, Wei Tingting, Zheng Churan and Wang Man drew an unusual amount of attention overseas. Foreign governments, rights groups and luminaries including U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton criticized the arrests as an overreaction by a repressive Chinese government.

The women were released after 37 days without any formal charge, but they remain criminal suspects. Foreign governments and rights groups have been urging Chinese authorities to drop the investigations. China's foreign ministry has responded by saying the investigations are an internal judicial affair that foreign entities should not interfere with.

Lu Jun of the non-governmental organization Yirenping said the police acts against Wu were unethical.

Wu's lawyer said Wu is obligated to answer to summons for police interrogations but argued that Wu and others are innocent. "The charge against them stems from an activity that did not occur at all," the lawyer said.

He said Wu also was ill-treated while in detention when her medicine was withheld for days and when she was forced to sleep on the floor.