China releases five notable labour rights activists after year-long imprisonment

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: May 10, 2020, 08.06 AM(IST)

Chinese flag Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

All five of them have been released on April 24 followed by a 14-day quarantine before they return home. 

China's prominent labour activists, who were arrested in coordinated raids in the city of Shenzhen last year have returned to their homes. The information of them returning was given by their close family members. 

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All five activists went through a closed-door trial. According to the China Labour Bulletin, Zhang Zhiru and Wu Guijun were imprisoned for three years and suspended for four years, whereas,  Jian Hui, Song Jiahui and He Yuancheng were sentenced to 18 months, suspended for two years.

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All five of them have been released on April 24 followed by a 14-day quarantine before they return home. 

The activists' families got to know about their sentence and release when they returned home. 

According to the China Labour Bulletin, these activists were arrested for "gathering a crowd to disturb public order."

The activists have been active participants and advocates for the factory workers' rights during the 2010s, the state-run Global Times had praised Zhang's efforts back in 2014. 

Labour activists across China have been under constant pressure from the ruling Communist Party, the Chinese government has been suspicious of social organising outside its control. 

Even after the release these five activists, worker groups and their former staff are monitored closely, the source of this information has denied being named. 

Zhang’s ex-wife Xiao Hongxia said he seemed healthy and is in "good spirits" when she visited him on Friday. 

"I brought his two sons who haven’t seen him for more than a year," she said. "They were very happy - what son wouldn’t be happy to see their father?"

(With inputs from Reuters)

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