China: 18-year-old IDAHOT activist detained for 12 days

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

It has emerged that an LGBT marcher detained in the Chinese city of Changsha following Friday’s International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) events has been sentenced to 12 days in jail.

The 18-year-old activist, known only by his surname, Xiang, was the organiser of Changsha’s 17 May Pride Parade to mark IDAHOT.

The Associated Press reports that Xiang was sentenced to 12 days detention for organising an illegal march. Street demonstrations in China require prior police approval, which is rarely granted.

Local newspaper Xiaoxiang Morning News had interviewed Xiang before the march. He said he hoped the event would “let more people have a correct understanding of us [LGBT people]”.

Four participants in the march who stayed in a hotel the night after the event were detained by police on Saturday morning, with three released by the afternoon.

There were also detentions in the city of Guangzhou. According to Guangzhou activist Yang Dai, around two dozen volunteers were held by police as they were giving out IDAHOT information pamphlets. The volunteers were questioned for around an hour before being released.