Imprisoned Chinese Feminists Released on Bail After Outcry

HONG KONG — Five Chinese feminists who were jailed for more than a month after planning a campaign against sexual harassment on public transport were freed on bail Monday night, their lawyers told NBC News.

The investigation into the so-called "Feminist Five," whose plight garnered international attention, was ongoing and police still could detain them at any time, lawyer Wang Qiushi told NBC News on Tuesday.

Li Tingting, 25, Wu Rongrong, 30, Zheng Churan, 25, Wei Tingting, 26, and Wang Man, 33, were arrested on March 6, two days before International Women’s Day.

“As far as I know, the five women are all good. They need some rest after this and to spend more time with family,” Wang Qiushi added.

Liang Xiaojun, another lawyer, said police in western Beijing where the five women had been held were forced to release them after prosecutors decided not to press criminal charges immediately. Last week, police had asked the prosecutors to charge all five women with organizing a crowd to disturb the public order.

“Our next plans include getting their ... private things back, [to] accuse of police authorities of abusing power and asking authorities to drop the case and bring back the five women's innocence,” Wang Qiushi said.

Chinese officials did no immediately comment on the release.

The case of the five sparked widespread international criticism, with Hillary Clinton calling on China to release them. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday issued a statement stating that, “Chinese authorities should also support them [the feminists], not silence them.”

FROM NOV. 12, 2014: Obama: Human Rights Issues a Key Element in U.S.-Chinese Relations 1:19


NBC News' Eric Baculinao and researcher Julia Zhou contributed to this report.