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July 19, 2018   Lawyer Wang Quanzhang (王全璋), who was disappeared on July 15, 2018 in the Chinese Communist Party’s infamous 709 Crackdown on human rights lawyers, has been held incommunicado for just over three years now. Until recently, almost nothing was known about him, including where he was being held, the conditions under which he was being held, and what charges are likely to be brought against him. Whether he was even dead or alive was unknown until recently. Following are two updates on his situation translated by China Change. The first comes from Wang’s newly appointed lawyer, Liu Weiguo (刘卫国); the second, expressing great concern over Wang’s health, from his wife Li Wenzu (李文足). — The Editors   An Update on Wang Quanzhang’s […]


May 9, 2018       Background On July 9, 2015, Wang Yu (王宇) became the first target in a campaign of mass arrests against human rights lawyers in China. Over the next roughly two weeks, over 300 rights lawyers were arrested, interrogated, detained, and threatened — thus begetting the notorious ‘709 Incident.’ After over a month in secret detention at a black site in Beijing, Wang Yu was transferred to Tianjin for a continuation of her detention, then under so-called ‘residential surveillance at a designated place’ (指定居所監視居住). For over a year she was not allowed to see her lawyer, family, or communicate with the outside world. Another 20 or so lawyers and activists, including Wang Yu’s husband Bao Longjun (包龍軍), were given similar treatment. […]


Li Wenzu, April 12, 2018   Li Wenzu (李文足) is the wife of 709 lawyer Wang Quanzhang (王全璋). On April 4, the 1000th day of her husband’s disappearance on July 10, 2015, she and a group of 709 lawyers’ wives began a march from Beijing to Tianjin, about 130 kilometers, where Wang Quanzhang is supposedly being detained. Along the way, other activists joined them on and off. On the sixth day of their march, their march were broken up by scores of plainclothes police officers, and Li Wenzu was taken back home to Beijing by force. Human Rights in China translated Li Wenzu’s account of her first day back. We offer you a translation of her account of the second day. However, as we prepare […]


China Change, December 22, 2017     Around 4:30 p.m. on December 19, dissident writer Li Xuewen (黎学文) got off Guangzhou subway’s No. 5 line at the Guangzhou Train Station. Before he swiped his card to exit, two plainclothes officers approached him, flashed their IDs, and told Li Xuewen that he was wanted by the Ministry of Public Security for allegedly “gathering a crowd to disrupt social order.” This refers to Li’s participation in a seaside memorial in Xinhui, Guangdong, on July 19, 2017, four days after the eventual death of China’s most known dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo. At least a dozen or so people took part in it, ten have been detained and then released “on bail.” Li Xuewen told […]


Yaxue Cao, September 14, 2017     It’s said that when Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波) won the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2010, one of his friends wept. But he wasn’t shedding tears of joy. “He will never get out alive,” the friend said. At the time, the 55-year-old Liu had just begun his 11-year sentence at the Jinzhou Prison in Liaoning Province. The prediction that he won’t make it out alive was a difficult one to credit even for the most pessimistic observers of China’s political system (of which, in China, there is no shortage). Anything can happen in 11 years. Many more people — in particular Liu’s large group of friends — were able to bite their tongues until the day Liu was to […]


January 8, 2017     July 9, 2015, marked the beginning of a large number of arrests of human rights lawyers and rights defenders in China. Dozens of lawyers and human rights defenders have been disappeared, and hundreds of lawyers and defenders have been called in for intimidating “chats” with the police, or been temporarily detained. The campaign has extended to 23 provinces, shocking both China and the world alike, and is now known as the “709 mass arrest.” The “709 mass arrest” is the most severe attack on the rule of law and human rights in China for the last decade. This is shown clearly in how it has turned lawyers into imaginary enemies, making their lawful activities a primary target of attack. They’ve […]


Huang Simin, October 13, 2016   “If you want to understand your own country, then you’ve  already stepped on the path to criminality.” — Ai Weiwei “Do you think there is dignity in living a good life in this country?” — Li Tingyu   Born and raised in Guangdong, Li Tingyu (李婷玉) was a student at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou where she majored in English but dropped out in senior year. She had been working with her boyfriend Lu Yuyu (卢昱宇) on the self-published media known as 非新闻 (“Non-News”) until the couple’s detention on June 16 this year. The two were charged with “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” and are currently detained in the Dali Detention Center, Yunnan.   Li Tingyu and Lu Yuyu […]


By Yaxue Cao, published: November 16, 2015 While the number of spotted seals keeps dwindling, its ardent protector gets jail time – an all too familiar Chinese tale.     The 52-year-old Tian Jiguang (田继光) is an environmentalist living in the northeastern province of Liaoning, China, known for his commitment to protecting spotted seals that breed in the wetlands of his hometown, where the Liao River meets the Yellow Sea. He was arrested in October 2013 for “alleged extortion.” When he was indicted, he was given an additional charge of “embezzlement.” In September 2014 he was sentenced by the Dawa County Court (大洼县法院) to 12 years in prison—5 years for extortion, and 8 for embezzlement. Last Friday (November 13), Panjin Municipality Intermediate Court (盘锦市中级法院) upheld […]


By Yaqiu Wang, published: August 2, 2015   During the recent sweeping crackdown on rights lawyers, Chinese authorities placed lawyers Sui Muqing (隋牧青) and Xie Yang (谢阳), as well as activist Gou Hongguo (勾洪国), under “residential surveillance at a designated place” (指定居所监视居住), according to official reports. Some observers of China’s human rights practices were relieved upon hearing this. The literal meaning of this coercive measure gives the impression that, compared with formal detention, there must be relatively fewer restrictions on movement under residential surveillance. Gou Guoping’s wife, upon learning that her husband was to be placed under residential surveillance, was, in her own words, “ecstatic.” But after calling the public security bureau to obtain more information, she was told: “The case is under investigation. The […]


By China Change, published: May 18, 2014   In Guangzhou, renowned rights lawyer Tang Jingling (唐荆陵) was criminally detained on May 16, for “provoking disturbance,” according to weiquanwang, a primary website reporting on China’s rights defense events. His wife told weiquanwang that, around 10 o’clock Friday evening, seven or eight police officers entered her home, displaying a search warrant and notice of criminal detention. The police searched the home for about two hours during which, lawyer Tang Jingling and his wife were told not to move and not to make or answer phone calls. The police took away Tang Jingling, his desktop computer, laptop, three cell  phones, some books, and holiday cards from friends. During the days leading up to Friday’s detention, Tang Jingling had […]


China Change, published: May 5, 2014   Update (7:00 am, Eastern Time, May 6): Five are criminally detained for “creating disturbances (寻衅滋事), and they are: Xu Youyu, Hao Jian, Liu Di, Hu Shigen and Pu Zhiqiang.  As the 25th anniversary of Tian’anmen Democracy Movement approaches, a small group of people, consisted of Tiananmen mothers, scholars, dissidents, writers, held a seminar in Beijing on May 3rd to remember the event, discuss its impact and consequences, and call for truth finding and resolution of remaining issues. Less than two days after the seminar, multiple disappearances have been reported. The attendees were: Cui Weiping  (崔卫平,professor at  Beijing Film Academy), Guo Yuhua (郭于华, sociology professor at Tsinghua University), Hao Jian (郝建, professor at Beijing Film Academy), Hu Shigen (胡石根, dissident, […]


By China Change, published: October 18, 2013   Since his criminal detention on August 8, Chinese dissident and activist Yang Maodong (杨茂东), better known by his pen name Guo Feixiong (郭飞雄), has been in custody for over 70 days without being granted meetings with his lawyers and without being formally indicted, raising fears of torture or something worse. His lawyer Sui Muqing (隋牧青, @suimuqing88), who recently started using Twitter to post information about Guo Feixiong to avoid being censored on Weibo, tweeted his concerns last week. “Based on information I gathered from various sources, I am concerned that the authorities might alter charges against Guo Feixiong, such as inciting subversion, in order to hand him a heavy sentence.” Mr. Sui worried that, because Guo Feixiong’s […]


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