Statement by the EU Delegation to China on the release of women's rights defenders (14/04/2015)

The Delegation of the European Union to China takes note with relief of the release of the five women's rights defenders, who were detained on the grounds that they wanted to launch a campaign against sexual harassment on International Women's Day. As the spokesperson of the High-Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy stated on 23 March 2015, their detention violated their right to demonstrate peacefully.

However, we regret that the investigation of their cases has not been withdrawn yet, as they are still subjected to "bail pending further investigation", which entails restrictions on their freedom of movement and communication. As the UN is preparing to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 4th World Conference on Women and the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action, we urge China not to restrict the activities of human rights defenders promoting the human rights of women.