The women, who are part of China's Women's Rights Action Group, are free on bail, but will remain under surveillance by authorities. Many see the arrests as a warning for civil rights groups in China to decrease their activities. This year's International Women's Day coincided with China's annual parliamentary session, which usually has tight security and is often preceded by the detention of activists. The women planned activities including gatherings in Beijing and Guangzhou calling for awareness of sexual harassment on buses and a march in a Beijing park where participants would wear stickers advocating safe sex. China said on Monday it had lodged a formal complaint to the US over a statement by Secretary of State John Kerry at the weekend in which he called for their unconditional release.
It is welcomed news to hear that these women have been released from detainment. I believe that China is using these women as examples of what could happen if activists continue to voice their opinion of what needs to be changed in China. From the article, it seems as though the activists had very peaceful plans such as a march while wearing stickers and gatherings. These are very non-violent types of protest, and usually are not means for detainment. I definitely think that China is using these women as a scare tactic to keep other protesters and activists under wraps. This is the issue that I have with governmental authority. China is supposedly a democratic nation. They are democratic in the sense that you vote for your leaders, but any time you wish to voice your opinion (and it's different from the norm) you run the risk of being detained. The same goes hear in the United States. There have been multiple times that peaceful protesters have been detained, beaten, sprayed with mace, or even killed. Stories like this make me never want to attend a protest, even if it is peaceful, out of simple fear for my life and my freedom.