In China 3 detained women's rights activists released

The women who had planned protests against sexual harassment on public transport, were detained shortly before International Women's Day on the 8th of March.

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3 women's rights activists who had been detained for over a month in China have been released.

The women who had planned protests against sexual harassment on public transport, were detained shortly before International Women's Day on the 8th of March and their detention sparked an international outcry.

This year's International Women's Day coincided with China's annual parliamentary session, which usually has tight security and the police regularly detain activists in the lead-up to high-profile events deemed more sensitive.

To this end, the activists had planned a march in a Beijing park where participants would wear stickers advocating safe sex and action against sexual harassment. Also planned was gatherings in Beijing and Guangzhou calling for awareness of sexual harassment on buses.

A lawyer for the trio - Wei Tingting, Wang Man and Zheng Churan said they were not charged but their release was conditional.

BBC reports that their release came as China said it lodged a formal complaint to the US over a statement by Secretary of State John Kerry over the weekend.

Kerry had urged for an "unconditional" release of the detainees, adding that the women were organising a "peaceful campaign" against sexual harassment and to promote gender equality.

China's foreign affairs spokesman Hong Lei said China lodged representations with the US over Kerry's comments. Lei urged the United States to "respect China's judicial sovereignty and not use any pretext to interfere in China's internal affairs".

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