Li Tingting, one of five women’s rights activists recently released by Beijing, says that her enthusiasm for the feminist cause has only grown stronger as a result of her ordeal.
In comments made to Associated Press, Li said that during her 37 day ordeal interrogators deprived her of sleep, blew smoke into her face while she was restrained and mocked her sexual orientation. “It made my nostrils and eyes dry and uncomfortable,” Li wrote. “I could not move at all and felt my dignity was greatly insulted.”
Li’s contact with AP was only made possible after lawyer and her girlfriend, Teresa, agreed to relay information on her behalf. State security officials allowed journalists to travel to her hometown and see that she had been released, but will not permit her to give interviews. Her lawyer said that the demand she hold no interviews has no basis under Chinese law.
Along with four other female activists, Li was detained in a criminal investigation for their plans to hand out stickers and flyers denouncing sexual harassment. Known internationally for their high-profile protests and sit-ins, under increasing international pressure the Chinese government released all five on conditional bail.
“‘Feminism is my soul,'” Teresa quoted Li as saying. “‘I thought a lot and came to believe what I do cannot be wrong. My belief is firmer. Feminism will surely be inseparable from me.'”
By Dominic Jackson