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Activist in China #MeToo movement detained - rights group

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BEIJING (Reuters) – A prominent figure in China’s #MeToo movement has been detained by police, a rights activist with direct knowledge of the situation said on Thursday.

Sophia Huang Xueqin, a freelance journalist who lived in the southern city of Guangzhou, was detained there on Oct. 17 on suspicion of “picking quarrels and stirring up trouble”, a charge often used by authorities to detain activists, according to Yaqiu Wang, China researcher for Human Rights Watch.

Guangzhou police could not immediately be reached for comment.

Huang was recently in Hong Kong, according to her articles for Matters, a Hong Kong-based media outlet, reporting on anti-government protests that have rocked the Chinese-controlled territory since June.

Huang reported on the #MeToo movement in China as it took off last year and also shared her own accounts of sexual harassment as an intern in a national news agency. The nascent movement has come under pressure from authorities.

She also started a blog on WeChat, China’s ubiquitous messaging platform, where she conducted surveys on workplace harassment in China and shared her findings.

(Reporting by Huizhong Wu; Editing by Tony Munroe and Steve Orlofsky)

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