China: LGBT conference in China forced to cancel; organisers say they were detained for 8 hours

An LGBT conference in central China has been cancelled after authorities told organisers that LGBT events were not welcome in the city, according to the organisers of Speak Out 2017.

Xi’an Police detained the team behind the Speak Out 2017 Xi’an conference for eight hours on Sunday, organisers said on their official Weibo microblogging account. 

Originally scheduled for Sunday afternoon, the conference aims to amplify LGBT voices by inviting up to nine speakers to speak for 18 minutes on an LGBT-related topic decided upon by organisers. 400 people were expected to attend. Speakers included Li Tingting, one of the five feminists detained in 2015, whose case sparked an international outcry.

“In those eight hours, we were completely cut off from the world – we were clearly told, ‘LGBT events can never be held in Xi’an,’ ‘Xi’an does not welcome LGBT events,’ and other such warnings,” the 2017 Xi’an conference’s curator wrote.

The organising team was forced to turn over their mobile phones, administrator access to their systems, their passwords, and a list of speakers to authorities, according to the curator’s statement. They were not permitted to contact anyone. Read more via Hong Kong Free Press