Women's rights activist Feng Yuan uses her mobile phone as she waits for the release of detained women activists in front of a detention center in Beijing, April 13, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
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Rights groups on Tuesday welcomed China's unusual release of five feminist activists whose detention for more than a month triggered an international diplomatic outcry, saying the move showed Beijing sometimes responds to outside pressure.China's ruling Communist Party does not tolerate organised opposition, and often clamps down on small activist groups.But the detentions were seen by rights groups as unusually harsh given the small scale of the women's stunts and the fact that they had been praised in China's state-run media. The sparing of the five women suggests that China bowed to the "unprecedented global response" to their case, said Maya Wang, China researcher for Human Rights Watch.Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to co-host a women's summit at the UN in September, and rights groups called for a boycott of the event unless the five activists were released -- a potential embarrassment for Beijing, which is seeking to furnish an image as a "responsible stakeholder" on the global stage.
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