China #MeToo journalist sentenced to five years in jail, supporters say

Last Updated: June 23, 2024By

Sentencing of #MeToo Activist and Labor Advocate Sparks Outcry


A Chinese court has handed down harsh sentences to prominent #MeToo journalist Sophia Huang Xueqin and labor activist Wang Jianbing, sparking outrage among their supporters. They were detained nearly 1,000 days ago on charges of inciting state subversion.

Supporters revealed on Friday that the court had delivered guilty verdicts, with Huang receiving the maximum sentence of five years. The sentences include time already spent in detention. Additionally, Huang was fined 100,000 RMB and stripped of political rights for four years. Wang Jianbing, on the other hand, received a three-and-a-half-year sentence, along with a 50,000 RMB fine and three years of political rights deprivation.

The spokesperson for the Free Huang Xueqin and Wang Jianbing campaign expressed disappointment, stating, “The sentence was much harsher than expected. It’s unfair and unnecessary. We fully support Huang Xueqin’s decision to appeal.”


The trial, held behind closed doors with heavy security, commenced in September last year, marking two years since their arrest. Huang, known for her advocacy in feminism and journalism covering #MeToo and Hong Kong protests, was detained just before she planned to study in the UK.

The detention center where they were held reportedly subjected them to secret interrogations and mistreatment, allegations supported by human rights groups. Their arrests were linked to their involvement in organizing gatherings on progressive issues and online activities critical of the Chinese government.

In a poignant video from December 2021, Wang’s father expressed bewilderment over his son’s situation, emphasizing his innocence and calling for due legal process.

Huang had previously been detained in 2019 for her reporting on Hong Kong protests. Despite international recognition, including a Chevening scholarship from the UK, her activism led to ongoing persecution.

Amnesty International condemned their sentencing as an assault on freedom of expression, urging their immediate release and criticizing the Chinese government’s crackdown on activists.

The sentences have sparked global condemnation, highlighting ongoing concerns about human rights abuses in China. The plight of Huang Xueqin and Wang Jianbing underscores the challenges faced by activists striving for social justice in restrictive environments.

With Reuters

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