Dear Chief Procurator
Zhang Jian
Guangzhou City People’s Procuratorate
66, Huangpu Dadao Xi,
Guangzhou shi, Guangdong Sheng, 510600
People’s Republic of China

I am writing to express my concern for #MeToo activist Sophia Huang Xueqin (黄雪琴) and labour activist Wang Jiangbing (王建兵) who are detained under the charge of “inciting subversion of state power” (煽动颠覆国家政权). Detained at Guangzhou City No 1 Detention Centre, their case is now submitted to your office by the police for further action. Detained solely for peacefully exercising their freedom of expression and association, Sophia Huang and Wang must be released immediately.

For your information, Sophia Huang Xueqin and Wang Jianbing were both arrested in Guangzhou on 19 September 2021 and detained incommunicado for more than 6 months. Wang could only meet with his lawyer for the first time virtually on 1 April 2022. I am also concerned that Sophia Huang still has no access to a lawyer.

According to Wang’s lawyer, Wang was detained alone at Guangzhou City No.1 Detention Centre during the period of “residential surveillance under a designated location” (RSDL) where the conditions were harsh. His basic meals were not regular, and he was subjected to long hours of interrogation. It is believed that Sophia Huang was also subjected to the same ill-treatment during the period when she was detained under RSDL. I find it further worrying that Sophia Huang reportedly significantly lost weight during this period, especially as she only weighed approximately 50kg before she was detained.

Detained solely for practicing their rights to freedom of expression and association, Sophia Huang Xueqin and Wang Jianbing should not be prosecuted. International human rights laws and standards guarantee the rights to freedom of association and expression. Therefore, I urge you to:

• Release Sophia Huang Xueqin and Wang Jianbing immediately;

• Pending their release, ensure that Sophia Huang Xueqin and Wang Jianbing have regular, unrestricted access to family and lawyers of their choice and are not subjected to torture and other ill-treatment.

• Stop harassing, arresting, and threatening other human rights defenders who peacefully exercise their right to freedom of association and other human rights.