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He Xiaobo Released on Bail, Zeng Feiyang’s Mother Attempts to Sue Official Media

On 8 April, He Xiaobo, one of the labour activists taken into custody in early December 2015, was released on bail after being charged with embezzlement. A forty-two-year-old former migrant worker, He is the director of the Nanfeiyan Social Work Service Centre, an NGO based in Foshan, Guangdong, that specialises in providing legal aid to victims of workrelated accidents and occupational diseases. Another two labour activists, Zeng Feiyang and Meng Han, of the Panyu Migrant Workers Centre, an NGO based in Guangzhou, remained under detention with the charge of ‘disrupting social order’. In late December, Chinese state media publicly accused Zeng of having embezzled money from factory workers, having affairs with several female workers, and writing ‘vulgar’ messages to women online. His mother Chen Wenying later attempted to sue the official Xinhua News Agency and China Central Television, demanding one million yuan in compensation for defamation, but in April she dropped charges due to the unrelenting pressures she and her family had been subjected to in the wake of the lawsuit.

(Sources: Guardian, Quartz, South China Morning Post, Xinhua)

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