The Crackdown on Human Rights Lawyers — A Compilation of China Change Posts About the ‘709 Incident’

China Change, July 4, 2020

The fifth anniversary of the 709 crackdown on the Chinese human rights lawyers is approaching. China’s methodical persecution of human rights lawyers continues to this day and will likely go on for the conceivable future. China Change has written and translated extensively over the past five years on the subject. For your convenience, we have put them all in one place and here are the 72 posts, as of June 30, 2020. You can also download a PDF version. — The Editors


Crime and Punishment of China’s Rights Lawyers, Mo Zhixu, July 23, 2015.

Biographies of Lawyers, Staffers and Activists Detained or Disappeared in the July 10 Nationwide Raid Against Rights Lawyers, China Change, July 23, 2015.  

14 Cases Exemplify the Role Played by Lawyers in the Rights Defense Movement, 2003–2015, Yaxue Cao, Wang Yaqiu, August 19, 2015.

First-hand Accounts

How Lawyer Wang Yu Was Made to Denounce the American Bar Association’s Human Rights Award in 2016, Wang Yu, May 8, 2018.

The Nightmare – An Excerpt of Lawyer Wang Yu’s Account of 709 Detention and Torture, Wang Yu, November 13, 2017.

A Record of 709, Xie Yanyi, October 15, 2017.

Transcript of Interviews with Lawyer Xie Yang (4) – Admit Guilt, and Keep Your Mouth Shut, January 22, 2017.

Transcript of Interviews with Lawyer Xie Yang (3) – Dangling Chair, Beating, Threatening Lives of Loved Ones, and Framing Others, January 21, 2017.

Transcript of Interviews with Lawyer Xie Yang (2) – Sleep Deprivation, January 20, 2017.

Transcript of Interviews with Lawyer Xie Yang (1) – Arrest, Questions About Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Group, Xie Yang, Chen Jiangang, Liu Zhengqing, January 19, 2017.


Imprisoned Lawyer Wang Quanzhang’s Six-year-old Son Once Again Forced Out of School, Li Wenzu, September 6, 2019.

Lawyer Jiang Tianyong Freed From Prison but Not Free, Health Deteriorating, China Change, June 24, 2019.

Lawyer Wang Yu’s Son Blocked Again From Leaving China, November 13, 2017.

61-Year Old Human Rights Lawyer Criminally Detained in Shenyang, October 31, 2017.

Two Years on: An Update on Lawyer Wang Yu, the First 709 Detainee, July 7, 2017.  

Disappeared Lawyer a Long-time Target of Surveillance, Detention, and Torture, November 30, 2016.

Breaking: Chinese Citizens Bao Zhuoxuan, Tang Zhishun and Xing Qingxian Missing in Burma, China Change, October 9, 2015.

Breaking: This Morning in Beijing, One lawyer Gone Missing, Another Lawyer Kidnapped, and Fengrui Law office Visited by Police, China Change, July 9, 2015

Statements by Human Rights Lawyers

Statement by the China Human Rights Lawyers Group on the Fourth Anniversary of the ‘709 Incident’, July 9, 2019.

Five Lawyers Write to Minister of Justice: Cease the Campaign-style Political Crackdown Against China’s Lawyers, March 2, 2018.     

Safeguarding the Right to Practice: A Statement by 58 Chinese Lawyers, February 19, 2018.

Wu Gan’s Statement After Being Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison for ‘Subversion’, December 26, 2017.

Wu Gan’s Pretrial Statement, Wu Gan, August 9, 2017.

The China Human Rights Lawyers Group: Statement Upon the 2nd Anniversary of the 709 Incident, July 9, 2017.

‘The Ball Is in Your Court!’ Questions for the Hunan Procuratorate Regarding Its ‘Independent Investigation’ into Xie Yang’s Torture, Chen Jiangang, March 22, 2017.

Xie Yang’s Handwritten Statement on January 13, 2017, March 7, 2017.

How Xie Yang’s Transcripts of Torture Came to Light: Lawyer Chen Jiangang Rebuts China’s Smear Campaign, Chen Jiangang, March 3, 2017.

Statement by Lawyers Representing Jiang Tianyong Regarding the Global Times Interview, Chen Jinxue, Qin Chenshou, March 1, 2017.

Wife and Relatives Issue Statement Over Torture of Rights Lawyer Xie Yang in Changsha, August 14, 2016.

The State Smear Campaigns

After Four Detainees of the ‘709 Incident’ Are Indicted, Chinese State Media Name Foreign News Organizations, a US Congressman, & Three Embassies in Beijing as ‘Foreign Anti-China Forces’, July 15, 2016.

Another Chinese Propaganda Video Ties Mainland Rights Defense Activism, Protests in Hong Kong, and the Syrian War Into One Anti-U.S. Narrative, December 18, 2016.

China Smears Foreign Diplomats in Another 4-Minute Video, As Trials of Rights Lawyers and Activists Continue in Tianjin, August 4, 2016.

China Claims Rights Lawyers and Dissidents Are Part of Vast American Conspiracy in 4-Minute Video, August 3, 2016.

The Vilification of Lawyer Wang Yu and Violence By Other Means, Matthew Robertson, July 27, 2015.

Post-709 Disbarment

Lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan’s Statement Regarding the Revocation of His License, June 26, 2019.

War on Human Rights Lawyers Continues: Up to 16 More Lawyers in China Face Disbarment or Inability to Practice, China Change, May 14, 2018.

Veteran Human Rights Lawyer Cheng Hai Disbarred, August 13, 2018.

Detention and Disbarment: China Continues Campaign Against Human Rights Lawyers in Wake of 709 Crackdown, China Change, January 24, 2018.

Human Rights Lawyer Wen Donghai Targeted in Continuous Crackdown, China Change, November 6, 2017.

A Home Prison Is Being Built for Recently Released Human Rights Lawyer Xie Yang, China Change, August 2, 2017.

Chinese Rights Lawyer Li Chunfu Mentally Disturbed and Physically Ruined After Abuse in Custody, Wang Qiaoling, January 13, 2017.

709 Families

Mother and Lawyer Reveals Brutality Against Her Teenage Son for the First Time, Wang Yu,

‘If You Dare to Come Out, We’ll Kill You, Do You Not Believe It?’ Li Wenzu, April 12, 2018.

Wife of Lawyer Li Heping, Reflects on Life, Faith and the 709 Crackdown, Wang Qiaoling, May 26, 2017.   

To All Friends Concerned With the Imprisoned Human Rights Activist Wu Gan and the 709 Case, Xu Xiaoshun, May 22, 2017.

‘Screw Your Suspended Sentence’: ‘The 709 Cases Are Far From Over,’ Says Li Heping’s Wife, Wang Qiaoling, April 8, 2017.

Letter to World Leaders by ‘709’ Family Members Includes Emerging Details of Horrific Torture, 709 wives, March 1, 2017.

Speeches and Commentaries

Keynote Address on the Second China Human Rights Lawyers’ Day, July 8, 2018, New York City, Terry Halliday, July 9, 2018.

The Many Methods by Which the Chinese Communist Party Cracks Down on Human Rights Lawyers, Lu Shijie (an anonymous lawyer), July 4, 2018.

Communist Party’s Suppression of Lawyers Is a Preemptive Attack Against an Imaginary Threat, Liu Shuqing, May 6, 2018.

A Tribute to Wang Quanzhang, Yaxue Cao, July 9, 2018.

Why Is Wu Gan ‘The Butcher’ So Important?, Mo Zhixu, August 17, 2017.

The Twelve ‘Crimes’ of Wu Gan the Butcher, China Change, August 13, 2017.

The ‘709 Incident:’ some testimony from the human rights lawyer community, Eva Pils, July 8, 2017.

A Human Rights Lawyer’s Notes on the ‘709 Incident’, Wen Donghai, July 7, 2017.

What Is Hu Shigen Thought and the ‘Topple-the-Wall’ Movement Anyway?, Zhao Xin, September 11, 2016.

To American Bar Association With Regard to ABA Human Rights Award to Wang Yu, Yaxue Cao, August 6, 2016.

The Glory and Suffering of Pu Zhiqiang, Mo Zhixu, December 21, 2015.

Profiles and Interviews

 ‘The Most Painful Part of It all Was the Squandering of Life’, Xie Yanyi, July 8, 2018.

709 Crackdown Three Years on: ‘We Don’t Accept the Communist Party’s Attempt to Instill Terror in Us’, Xie Yang, July 6, 2018.

709 Crackdown Three Years on: ‘You’re Guilty of Whatever Crime They Say You Are’, Sui Muqing, July 5, 2018.

709 Crackdown Three Years on: ‘If This Country Can’t Even Tolerate Lawyers’, Wen Donghai, July 4, 2018.

709 Crackdown Three Years on: ‘I Stayed Because I Want to Change It’, Jiang Tianyong, July 3, 2018.

Wang Quanzhang: The 709 Lawyer Not Heard From Since July 2015, Yaxue Cao, January 15, 2018.

“My Name is Li Heping, and I Love Being a Lawyer”, Li Heping, Ai Weiwei, August 21, 2016.

Hu Shigen: The Prominent Yet Obscure Political Prisoner, August 2, 2016.

‘Crooked Beam’ Xie Yanyi, Liang Xiaojun, July 25, 2016.  

Wu Gan the Butcher, Wang Yaqiu, July 22, 2015.

Broader Interviews of Human Rights Lawyers

Interviewing Sui Muqing: As a Human Rights Lawyer, I’ve Sacrificed a Lot, But Gained Even More, Sui Muqing, June 2, 2020.

Interviewing Liang Xiaojun: Representing Political Prisoners Is an Honor for China’s Lawyers, Liang Xiaojun, May 15, 2020.

Ten Years Disbarred, Tang Jitian, April 30, 2020.

From a Successful Lawyer to a Civil Rights Activist — An Exclusive Interview With Ding Jiaxi, March 19, 2020.

To Be Posted

Five years after the ‘709’ crackdown on China’s human rights lawyers, their voices must be heard, Terence C. Halliday and Eva Pils.

Statement by the China Human Rights Lawyers Group on the Fifth Anniversary of the ‘709 Incident’

Turning the Tables: the Revelation of Torture and the Aftermath, video interviews with Chen Guiqiu and Chen Jiangang.

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One response to “The Crackdown on Human Rights Lawyers — A Compilation of China Change Posts About the ‘709 Incident’”

  1. […] not all is well on the civil society front. Since the 709 crackdown on lawyers in 2015, human rights advocates and lawyers in China have been battered. Terry Halliday, […]

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