“We’ve always thought the country supports equal rights for women,” Wang Qiushi, a lawyer for another one of the women who was detained, told the New York Times. “Speaking as a lawyer, this act is beyond our imagination and has shocked us.”
But China specialist Sophie Richardson of Human Rights Watch says she was hardly surprised by the detentions. “This is sadly consistent with the pathologies of the Xi Jingping regime, which has demonstrated an extraordinary intolerance of criticism over the last couple of years,” she says.
Richardson says the crackdown has targeted “environmental activists ... lawyers, writers, bloggers — anyone who appears to be criticizing the government, and particularly anyone who appears to be trying to organize in any way.”
The arrests took place in Beijing as the annual meetings of China’s rubber-stamp parliament, the National People’s Congress, were getting under way. It's a time of year when security forces are always on high alert in the Chinese capital."
Read article by Matthew Bell from PRI.