Chinese Journalist, Rights Activist Incommunicado, Likely Detained, in Guangzhou

#MeToo activist and journalist Sophia Huang had been due to begin a degree at the University of Sussex after being awarded a Chevening Scholarship.

Chinese Journalist, Rights Activist Incommunicado, Likely Detained, in Guangzhou

Feminist journalist Sophia Huang and fellow activist Wang Jianbing are incommunicado, believed detained, ahead of Huang's planned departure to study overseas, the Chinese rights group Weiquanwang reported on Tuesday.

Huang had planned to leave China via Hong Kong on Sept. 20 for the U.K., where she planned to take a master's degree in development with a prestigious Chevening Scholarship, the Weiquanwang report said.

Wang, who is a labor and healthcare rights activist, had planned to see her off on her journey, it said.

"According to people familiar with the matter, Wang Jianbing may have been detained under investigation for incitement to subvert state power, mainly due to the daily gatherings of friends at his home," Weiquanwang said, adding that both activists had been incommunicado since Sept. 19.

Repeated calls and messages to Huang's cell phone went unanswered on Tuesday.

Sources told RFA the pair had likely been detained by police in their home district of Haizhu.

An officer who answered the phone at the Haizhu district police department in Guangzhou declined to confirm the report.

"Who? I've never heard of those people," the officer said. "If you believe they are being dealt with, then the relatives need to wait for notification."

"The case officers will only contact [the family]."

A person familiar with the case, who gave only the surname Gu, said there was no way to rescue Huang and Wang, who he said were detained alongside two other people, one of whom has since been released.

"The thing that triggered it was a protest video they made for private broadcast," Gu said, but said he hadn't seen the video himself.

Survey of harassment, assaults

Before being targeted by the authorities in 2019, Huang had been an outspoken member of the country's #MeToo movement, and had carried out a survey of sexual harassment and assault cases among Chinese women working in journalism.

Huang was present at a million-strong protest in Hong Kong on June 9, 2019 against plans to allow extradition to mainland China, and was detained for "picking quarrels and stirring up trouble" in October 2019, before being released on bail in January 2020, a status that often involves ongoing surveillance and restrictions on a person's activities.

Her travel documents were also confiscated after her return, preventing her from beginning a law degree in Hong Kong the fall of 2019.

Huang had previously assisted in the investigation and reporting of a number of high-profile sexual harassment allegations against professors at Peking University, Wuhan University of Technology, Henan University and Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou.

Wang started to work in rural development after graduating in 2005, before joining the Guangzhou Gongmin NGO in 2014 and director and coordinator for youth work.

In 2018, he started advocacy and legal support work on behalf of workers with occupational diseases, and was a vocal supporter of China's #MeToo movement.

Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

Source : Radio Free Asia More   

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The US to relax travel restrictions for vaccinated foreign air travelers.

Web Desk: According to the Guardian, the United States will lift Covid-19 travel restrictions to allow fully vaccinated passengers against COVID-19, from 33 countries including China, India, Brazil, and the UK, and most European Union (EU) countries to travel into the country from early November, the White House said on Monday, easing tough pandemic-related restrictions …

The US to relax travel restrictions for vaccinated foreign air travelers.

Web Desk:

According to the Guardian, the United States will lift Covid-19 travel restrictions to allow fully vaccinated passengers against COVID-19, from 33 countries including China, India, Brazil, and the UK, and most European Union (EU) countries to travel into the country from early November, the White House said on Monday, easing tough pandemic-related restrictions that started early last year.

Photo Courtesy: Reuters

The move signals the end of a travel ban imposed by Donald Trump more than 18 months ago in the early stages of the pandemic and comes after intense lobbying from Brussels and London.

In addition to the UK and the 26 Schengen countries in Europe, the easing of restrictions will also apply to Ireland, China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, and India.

It was welcomed by Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, who tweeted: “It’s a fantastic boost for business and trade, and great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can be reunited once again.”

 

Under current policy, only United States citizens, their immediate families, green card holders, and those with national interest exemptions (NIE) can travel into the US if they have been in the UK or EU in the previous two weeks.

The White House coronavirus response coordinator, Jeff Zients, said on Monday international travelers will require proof of full vaccination before boarding a flight and a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of departure. They will not be required to quarantine upon arrival.

There will be some exceptions to the vaccine policy including for children not yet eligible to be vaccinated. The new rules do not yet apply to travelers crossing land borders with Mexico and Canada.

The new policy will take effect in early November, Zients said to the reporters, to allow airlines and travel partners, time to prepare to implement the new protocols.

Source : Voice of South Asia More   

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