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January 25, 2017   Lawyer Li Heping (李和平) is one of China’s earliest human rights lawyers and no stranger to torture. In an interview with the artist Ai Weiwei in 2010, he recounted how he was abducted one day in 2007 by Chinese domestic security police, beaten savagely, and thrown onto a hill outside Beijing in the middle of the night. In recent years he ran an anti-torture education program in Beijing, which was likely the reason for his arrest, along with scores of other lawyers, in July 2015, in what is now known as the “709 Incident.” Last week, lawyer Chen Jiangang (陈建刚) published his interviews with lawyer Xie Yang (谢阳) detailed horrific torture the latter was subjected to during a period of “residential […]


Xie Yang, Chen Jiangang, January 22, 2017     Continued from Part One, Part Two and Part Three   [The interview began at 9:47:50 a.m. on January 6, 2017] Chen Jiangang (陈建刚, “CHEN”): Let’s continue our conversation. What happened after you refused the attempts by Yin Zhuo (尹卓) to get you to implicate others? XIE: I tend to be constipated and need to eat fruit; otherwise the condition can get rather serious. I couldn’t even drink water while I was locked up, so my constipation got very serious and I was in extreme pain. I asked them to give me some fruit to eat. They didn’t give me any at first, but later they wanted me to trade. I would have to write a statement […]


Xie Yang, Chen Jiangang, January 21, 2017     Continued from Part One and Part Two   [The interview began at 2:49:55 p.m. on January 5, 2017.] Chen Jiangang (陈建刚, “CHEN”): Let’s continue. Xie Yang (谢阳, “XIE”): Okay. CHEN: Other than not letting you sleep, were there other ways they used to coerce you? XIE: Yes. They have a kind of slow torture called the “dangling chair.” It’s like I said before—they made me sit on a bunch of plastic stools stacked on top each other, 24 hours a day except for the two hours they let me sleep. They make you sit up there, with both feet unable to touch the ground. I told them that my right leg was injured from before, and […]


Xie Yang, Chen Jiangang, January 20, 2017     Continued from Part One   (The interview started at 9:23:32 a.m. on January 5, 2017) Chen Jiangang (陈建刚, “CHEN”): Today Lawyer Liu Zhengqing (刘正清) had to go back. Let’s continue our interview. XIE: Okay. CHEN: At the time you were put in Room 207, you hadn’t slept for all of the 11th and half a day on the 12th—that’s at least 30 hours. Did you ask for time to sleep? Were you tired? XIE: Very tired! But they always had someone coming in, so I couldn’t even shut my eyes. CHEN: Describe what happened after you got to the room. XIE: After I got to the room, police kept coming in one after another to ask […]


Wang Qiaoling, January 17, 2017 Since Li Chunfu was released from the custody of China’s security forces on January 12, his family has been providing updates on his condition to the outside world. Their notes make clear that Li was left a broken man, suffering both physically and mentally. China Change calls on the United Nations to investigate the treatment of Li Chunfu in custody, and we call for immediate access on the part of legal counsel to Li Heping and Wang Quanzhang, as well as Jiang Tianyong who has been held in secret detention since November 21, 2016. The circumstances of all these individuals are now of grave concern given Li Chunfu’s condition. — The Editors   These last few days I’ve been staying […]


Wang Qiaoling, January 15, 2017 Li Chunfu, a rights lawyer arrested during the 709 incident and the younger brother of lawyer Li Heping, was released “on bail” on January 12, mentally disturbed and physically frail. He has been diagnosed as having symptoms of schizophrenia and hospitalized. We learned from relatives that he was subjected to severe torture during his six months of “residential surveillance at a designated place,” China’s term for secret detention, including being locked up in a bed-sized metal cage for several stretches of time. More details to come. Once again, we urge the international human rights community to immediately begin an investigation into the extreme abuse that Li Chunfu, Li Heping, Wang Quanzhang, Wu Gan, Jiang Tianyong, and others targeted in the […]


Wang Qiaoling, January 14, 2017 *** Latest on January 14: Li Chunfu has been diagnosed today as having symptoms of schizophrenia and hospitalized. We learned from relatives that he was subjected to severe torture during his six months of “residential surveillance at a designated place,” China’s term for secret detention. More details to come. Once again, we urge the international human rights community to immediately begin an investigation into the extreme abuse that Li Chunfu, Li Heping, Wang Quanzhang, Wu Gan, Jiang Tianyong, and others targeted in the 709 arrests have suffered. – The Editors   *** Hours ago China Change posted Wang Qiaoling’s first report of her brother-in-law, lawyer Li Chunfu, who was released “on bail” after being detained incommunicado for 18 months as part of the […]


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 […]


January 3, 2017 This Q & A can be read as a companion piece to the Guardian report. It focuses more on Dahlin’s work, the interrogations, and the legal features of his case. Given that China’s “Law on the Management of Foreign Non-Governmental Organizations” took effect on January 1, 2017, we hope the conversation offers insight and perspective. – The Editors     CHINA CHANGE: Peter, you are a Swedish national; on January 3, 2016, you were taken into custody by Chinese national security agents for allegedly “endangering national security.” It was not until nine days later that the international press reported that you had been disappeared on your way to the Beijing airport. Then, on January 15 and 19, the Global Times and the […]


December 22, 2016 On December 20 the official Weibo account of the Communist Youth League Central Committee posted a short video (YouTube) targeting human right lawyer Jiang Tianyong (江天勇). Jiang was disappeared on November 21, and the Chinese government has not formally notified his relatives of his whereabouts, which violates China’s own laws. As the Party’s propaganda juggernaut churns out videos like this, the word “shameless” fails to describe it. The Chinese narration of the video is presented, interspersed with the images and corresponding text in italics. — The Editors     As the population of society has continued to grow, the number of people using fake identities to commit crimes has increased in large numbers. Thus, the real name-registration system is an important feature […]


December 18, 2016 A verified account belonging to the Ministry of Public Security issued this video on December 15 with the hashtag #警惕颜色革命 (“Beware of color revolutions”) and #是谁最想扳倒中国 (“Who wants to take China down the most”).  Two similar videos issued in August can be seen here and here.  – The Editors     [Syrian swimmer] Yusra Mardini, fleeing war-ravaged Syria. The boat had a problem, she and her sister pushed it to rescue the refugees packed in it. [Mardini’s voice]: “It’s hard to believe, but as an Olympic swimmer, I almost died in the water.” In Rio, she was a member of the Refugee Olympic Team made up of athletes who have lost their homes because of “color revolutions.” Her presence at the Olympics […]


China Change, November 29, 2016 “A lawyer who was born at just the right time; a lawyer who’s willing to take any case; a lawyer hated by a small political clique; a lawyer who wants to win the respect of regular folk; a lawyer who kept going even after being stripped of his law license.” – Jiang Tianyong’s Twitter bio     Lawyer Jiang Tianyong (江天勇) has been incommunicado for nine days as of today, and repeated attempts by his wife and lawyers to confirm his whereabouts and the circumstances of his disappearance have been met with obstruction. He’s believed to have been abducted by the Chinese government and fear is mounting that he is now, once again, being subjected to brutal treatment. On November […]


Guo Yushan, September 22, 2016     On September 22, after nearly two years in detention and a trial in August, lawyer Xia Lin (夏霖), my friend, will finally face his sentence. Whatever he’s been charged with, it’s clear to everyone that it was only because he defended me that he has been imprisoned, and suffered as he has to this day. In May 2014, Xia Lin got dragged into a number of disputes because of his involvement in Pu Zhiqiang’s (浦志强) case. One day in mid June, me, Xia Lin, and Kaiping (黄凯平) were sharing drinks at Beijing Worker’s Stadium, lamenting Pu’s case. At a break in the conversation, Xia Lin suddenly said to me: “If you get sent to prison in the future, […]


Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Group, September 13, 2016     On September 13, 2016, Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Group marks the third anniversary of its founding. Over the last three years, the Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Group has been an open platform for lawyers, offering them a channel to get to know one another, exchange their thoughts, and put out calls for mutual aid. It has also become the main force in “effective criminal defense,” Chinese-style. We deeply believe that behind these achievements lies the fact that human rights is not a dull, abstract idea, or some unfathomable theory — the universality of human rights is already deeply rooted in the hearts of the Chinese people. They spring every moment from the human experiences of […]


Li Heping, Ai Weiwei, August 21, 2016 This is a translation of an Ai Weiwei interview of lawyer Li Heping (李和平) in July 2010 (here, here, here, and here) that was released only recently. Beginning from his first involvement in “sensitive” cases around 2002, Li Heping went through the trajectory of his years as one of China’s earliest rights lawyers, including police brutality against him in 2007. Over the past decade or so, many early rights lawyers have withdrawn from the scene under duress, but Li Heping is one of the few who have persevered. He was arrested in July, 2015, as one of dozens of rights lawyers in what is known as the “709 Crackdown” of human rights lawyers and activists. After a year […]


August 14, 2016 Following the news of Xie Yang’s case being sent to the prosecutors for possible indictment, details of Xie Yang’s torture were brought to light by lawyers who met with police at the end of July. In recent days, family and lawyers’ requests for meeting Xie Yang (谢阳) have been repeatedly denied. Xie was taken away by police on July 11, 2015, while he was on business trip in Huaihua, western Hunan Province. Later he was placed under “residential surveillance at a designated place,” China’s term for secret detention, for “disturbing courtroom order” and “inciting subversion of state power.” Xie Yang was among the lawyers arrested in July, 2015, as part of a nation-wide crackdown on human rights lawyers and activists. Show trials […]


August 6, 2016     Over the last week, we all wondered whether the American Bar Association would go ahead with conferring its inaugural International Human Rights Award to the Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Yu. On August 1 she appeared on camera in China, repenting her courageous work fighting for justice and the rule of law, and repudiating the ABA award because she is a Chinese person and loves her country — as though receiving the award would be a betrayal of China. It was indeed Wang Yu speaking, but from an undisclosed location, after nearly 13 months in secret detention, to three people whose faces and identities were hidden. We cannot begin to fathom what has happened to her and dozens of other […]


August 4, 2016 This is indeed an extraordinary week. In a beguiling internet style, the Weibo account of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party Youth League posted another 4-minute video on August 4, obviously shot by domestic security police, a day after posting one that portrays rights lawyers and dissidents as part of a vast American conspiracy undermining China. In addition, under the hashtag #警惕颜色革命 (“Beware of Color Revolutions”), the Youth League account also posted numerous music videos and articles attacking the United States, rights lawyers, activists, President Tsai of Taiwan and internet freedom. This wave of propaganda is not just for a domestic audience; it aims to intimidate the U.S. and the free world too. A transcript of the narration in the […]


August 3, 2016 This video was posted this week by the official Weibo accounts of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate of the PRC, as well as the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party Youth League. The claims are false and distorted, ludicrously so, but the world view behind it is real and has consequences. We provide an English translation of the script. — The Editors     Beware of Color Revolutions   Not long ago, a little Iraqi girl was filmed speaking on camera, and her story saddened countless people around the world. “What’s your name?” “I don’t know.” “Where is your father?” “He died.” “Where? Where did he die?” “In Hadabah.” “Have you had breakfast, lunch, or supper? Tell me.” Of course, there is him […]


Liang Xiaojun, July 25, 2016 Xie Yanyi (谢燕益) is a human rights lawyer, and one of the 709 detainees. – The Editors   It was probably somewhere around the end of 2008 that I started receiving occasional group emails from someone writing under the name Liang Buzheng (梁不正)—“Crooked Beam.” Sometimes the emails would contain this person’s views on politics, while other times they would describe the actions he was taking in the legal sphere. In those days much of my time was spent handling commercial cases in order to make a living, so I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to public interest law or human rights issues. As a result, I would often simply skip over those emails from “Crooked Beam” without really reading […]


Jiang Tianyong, July 17, 2016     Recently I’ve been thinking: Leading up to 1949, the Chinese Communist Party had been able to steadily grow its strength partly because of the United States. And a major reason the Party has become the disruptive and powerful giant it is today is because of the greed and appeasement of the United States, Europe, and other Western countries. This became particularly clear with regard to the “709 Crackdown” last year, when the new communist boss, “Xitler,” directed a massive campaign of arrests in just a few days, targeting the most influential and active human rights lawyers and activists. As the only country with the actual leverage to exert pressure on the Communist Party (leverage being only one of […]


Gao Zhisheng, July 14, 2015     The legal profession is weak under the tyrannical Chinese Communist Party, yet there has been no lack of individual lawyers who stick to the law and principles. Because of their profession, lawyers witness or experience countless incidents of injustice or suppression bred by the cruel system itself. As the saying goes, the great waves sift the sand. In the face of this injustice and suppression, most lawyers simply try to get on with their lives. Some, acting as puppets, even join forces with the tyrants for selfish gains. But there is one group who instead have developed the towering wish to change the fate of the Chinese nation and people, and shoulder the special historic role of relieving […]


By relatives, defense counsels, and concerned lawyers, published: March 4, 2016     To the deputies, presidium, and delegations attending the 4th plenary meeting of the 12th Session of the National People’s Congress: We are a group made up of defense lawyers and family members of individuals taken into custody during the “July 9 Crackdown,” together with other lawyers and citizens who care about this incident. We are concerned about protecting the rights and interests of the detained and troubled even more by the current state of China’s rule of law and human rights. The “July 9 Crackdown” refers to the sweeping arrests that took place on July 9, 2015, and the several days that followed. Under the direction of the Ministry of Public Security, […]


By Qin Chenshou, published: March 1, 2016 On social media, lawyer Qin Chenshou (覃臣寿), who now represents Zhang Kai, has provided us with an introduction to Zhang Kai’s biography and work. China Change is pleased to provide a translation. — The Editors   Zhang Kai is a practicing lawyer in Beijing and a Christian member of a house church in Beijing. His main areas of practice are criminal defense and administrative litigation. Biographical Details Zhang Kai is a practicing lawyer and Christian who was baptized in 2003 In 2003, Zhang successfully passed the examination to obtain his legal credentials and began work as an assistant lawyer. In 2004, he began to practice as an attorney. From 2004 to 2006, he dealt with corporate and commercial […]


— New Year Greetings from the 300-member Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Group     Times goes on, but the laws of nature are the same. As the first rays of the morning sun will surely burst through the darkness, we cast our gaze, brimming with hope, upon a new year. The China Human Rights Lawyers Group (中国人权律师团) hereby imparts to everyone our most sincere New Year’s greetings! 2015 was a year replete with manmade disasters: A capsized boat on the Yangtze River, the Tianjin explosion, and the Shenzhen landslide one after another. And in each case the truth of what happened was concealed by the miasma of official power, forming a deep and dark human rights black hole. 2015 was also a year when Chinese […]


By Mo Zhixu, published: December 21, 2015 “Pu Zhiqiang has many facets to his character. He is a rights lawyer, an Internet opinion leader, and a dissident, in the broader sense of the word. His commitments and pursuits over the past 26 years help to explain how Pu has come to be so influential.”     On December 14, 2015, renowned human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang (浦志强) was tried by the Beijing Number Two People’s Court on charges of “provoking a serious disturbance” and “inciting ethnic hatred.” This case has been watched closely ever since Pu was first detained in May 2014. On the day of the trial hearing, diplomats from the United States, the European Union, and other foreign governments went to read statements […]


– Questions for China’s Thuggish Government   Pastor Bob Fu posted on social media the following note, as well as lawyer Gao Zhisheng’s piece on an incident on November 10. “Three Internal Security (国保) agents burst into Gao Zhisheng’s (高智晟) cave home on November 10 and stopped him from traveling. Gao had for the last several days been preparing to travel to Xi’an for a long-needed dental appointment but was suddenly prevented from doing so. The agents also told him to inform Yang Hai (杨海), a friend in Xi’an who was helping organize the trip, that Gao himself chose to stay home. Originally, public security agents in Xi’an had told Yang Hai that it was no problem, that they could accommodate Gao’s dentist visit in […]


By He Fei, published: October 17, 2015   Bao Zhuoxuan, the son of prominent rights lawyer Wang Yu and activist Bao Longjun, earlier this month attempted to escape China with the help of his parents’ friends, and was apprehended in Myanmar on October 6. His parents have been under secret detention, and denied access to lawyers, since July. The following post is a response to a report by China Central Television (CCTV) which suggested that Bao had been either deceived or forced into leaving China. The author of this post, published under the pseudonym He Fei on Weiquanwang, chooses to remain anonymous for reasons readily understood. The individual is understood to have strong information about the arrest of rights lawyers and the capture of Bao […]


By Zhao Sile, published: October 12, 2015 “It’s hard to find a word better than ‘terrorism’ to describe the evil way that systematic violence is being used to turn a juvenile into a hostage.”   Bao Zhuoxuan (包卓轩), who goes by the nickname Mengmeng (包蒙蒙), is a 16-year-old who wants to study law when he gets older. They say he’s tall for his age, but he still has a boyish face and is a bit of a “mama’s boy.” In the eyes of the Chinese state, however, he’s known simply as “hostage.” Late on the night of July 8, 2015, Bao Mengmeng and his father, human rights activist Bao Longjun (包龙军), went to Beijing Capital Airport on their way to Australia, where Mengmeng was preparing […]


October 11, 2015; updated on October 12   Beginning on July 9, 2015, human rights lawyers in China came under cruel assault. Bao Zhuoxuan (包卓轩), the 16-year-old son of disappeared rights lawyer Wang Yu (王宇) and activist Bao Longjun (包龙军) has been subjected to extralegal and inhumane treatement. On July 9, Bao Zhuoxuan was intercepted and prevented from leaving China at the Beijing Airport, while witnessing his father being arrested. After that, he was put under surveillance at his grandmother’s home in Tianjin. Then he was sent to Inner Mongolia by the police, where he was made to study at a school the police designated, and monitored by local police while he did so. With his freedom limited and passport and other identification seized, he […]


China Change, published: October 11, 2015   More details surrounding the disappearance of Bao Zhuoxuan, Tang Zhishun and Xing Qingxian have surfaced as friends continue to look for information in Mong La, Myanmar, as reported by a reporter at the Epoch Times who has close ties with the events. A resident in Mong La, a middle-aged man who wishes to remain anonymous, witnessed the scene of the three being apprehended. He said he saw a dozen or so policemen surrounding the three at a breakfast eatery. From the police conversation, he gathered that the three were Chinese. The lawyer who was looking for the three had gone to Huadu Guest House (华都宾馆), where the three had last stayed, to make inquiries. The women owner told […]


China Change, published: October 9, 2015   Around noon on October 6, 2015, Chinese citizen Bao Zhuoxuan (包卓轩, also known as Bao Mengmeng 包蒙蒙), the 16-year-old son of lawyer Wang Yu (王宇), and two grown men Tang Zhishun (唐志顺) and Xing Qingxian (幸清贤) were taken away by Burmese police from Room 8348 of Huadu Guest House (华都宾馆) in Mongla (also known as Little Mongla) near the border with China while traveling during the National Day holidays. The hotel owner said that a dozen or so policemen had come, displayed Burmese law enforcement IDs, and taken all three away. On October 7, friends and at least a lawyer went to local police bureau to make inquiries about the three, but the police denied of detaining anyone. […]


China Change, September 18, 2015   Wife of human rights lawyer Chen Taihe issued the following statement yesterday: My name is Jiang Jie (江洁); I’m the wife of Chen Taihe (陈泰和), and I currently reside in San Francisco​. On the morning of July 12, my husband Chen Taihe was taken away by domestic security police (​国保) in Guilin City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The following day authorities issued the notice of criminal detention. On July 15, a friend put the notice online, and that very day I was summoned by the police and threatened with detention. Our home was raided twice on July 15 and 25. ​On August 5, I made the arduous journey to America, where I know no one, with my 7-year-old son. […]


Jiang Tianyong, human rights lawyer, September 17, 2015   The late September visit of Xi Jinping to America, and his meeting with president Obama, is a perfect opportunity for exerting pressure on China over rule-of-law and human rights. The United States should of course use this chance to apply leverage! America should, and can, demand that the Chinese authorities immediately release all the lawyers and human rights defenders who have been arrested, immediately cease its crazed suppression of NGOs, stop its persecution of Christians, and stop its current high-pressure crackdowns on the Uighur and Tibetan minority groups. As long as the Obama administration is resolute in making the demands, Xi Jinping will accept them all. This is why: in the midst of domestic crises and […]


Liu Shihui, human rights lawyer, September 16, 2015   The Chinese stock market crashed again today (September 15), with multiple market indices reaching their yearly lows. As they plummeted, Xi Jinping’s dream of a heavy-handed market rescue was irreparably shattered. As the economy enters a quagmire, Li Ka-shing (李嘉诚), the richest man in Asia, and many other tycoons are pulling their capital from China. Xi Jinping now has no means of restoring prosperity, and in the midst of internal and external pressure, the Party is trying to drive exports to Europe and America. The hope is that exports will inject some energy into the stagnant Chinese economy, stirring up modest signs of life. At this point, the Chinese Communist Party isn’t feeling as confident as […]


On the eve of the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances (August 30) Published: August 29, 2015   “Such fear and panic do not beset these lawyers and their families only; they beset the entire Chinese society.”   Honorable Mr. Guo Shengkun (郭声琨), We don’t know if you will be able to read this letter, but we are writing it regardless in the hope that you may. We do not want to let slip the slightest hope. Since July 9th, our loved ones have been disappeared, and they include 17 lawyers, their assistants, and law firm staffers, as well as 6 rights defenders. Their disappearances all followed the same pattern: the people who took them away, either in Beijing or Tianjin, claimed that […]


By Yaxue Cao and Yaqiu Wang, published: August 19, 2015   The Chinese government has lately carried out a massive campaign to arrest, summon, and threaten Chinese lawyers. The propaganda machine has followed in lock-step, operating at full strength to tarnish these lawyers’ reputations by describing them as a “criminal gang,” “hooligans,” and “scum of the lawyer community” (here, here, and here). Rights lawyers first emerged in the 2000s at the onset of a Chinese rights-defense movement. For more than a decade, they have fought courageously for legal justice and been on the front lines of promoting rule of law in China by taking part in innumerable cases of all sizes dealing with some of the most important problems in Chinese political and social life, such as […]


by overseas Chinese organizations in the greater Washington, D.C. region 5 pm, Thursday, August 13, 2015 3505 International Place, NW, Washington, DC 20008   Since it began in July, the Chinese Communist Party’s large-scale suppression of human rights lawyers has already gone on for more than a month. With the information we have at hand, we know that over 300 lawyers, law firm staff, and rights defenders have been summoned by police, criminally detained, secretly imprisoned, disappeared, or put under house arrest. And in many cases, their family members, coworkers, or even their own legal counsel were subject to all manner of threats by the police. Meanwhile, the authorities have used the media they control to judge the victims before trial, misleading the public with […]


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 Matthew Robertson and Yaxue Cao, published: July 27, 2015   On the heels of a nationally coordinated campaign of arrests and disappearances of rights lawyers in China, Party-run media have aggressively attacked, framed, and sought to defame the same lawyers in articles and news reports (here, here, and here). In one CCTV segment in particular, Wang Yu (王宇), one of China’s most prominent rights defenders, was portrayed as a menace to court order as she loudly remonstrated with bailiffs. Wang was, along with four other lawyers, attempting to defend three practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice that is heavily persecuted in China, in a court in Shenyang, Liaoning Province last April. On July 19, nine days after Wang Yu had been taken away […]


By Zhai Minglei, published: July 26, 2015 “This vulgar, uncultured lot is the spawn of the Maoist period and Maoist thinking. They are carrying out the legalist ideas of Han Feizi (韩非子), getting rid of anyone they cannot convert to their own views. As a result, the prisons are filled with the moaning of prisoners of conscience, while state media clamors with slavish voices.”   When I was a reporter at Southern Weekly (《南方周末》) [2000-2003], I crossed paths with lots of different types of lawyers. Sometimes they were allies, other times opponents. In the Wang Weizun case (王惟尊案), the bank’s lawyer initially prevented me from checking into Wang’s allegations about cooked books, saying that the accounting documents are commercial secrets. I replied: “If the accounts […]


By Mo Zhixu, published: July 23, 2015 This commentary was written and published in March 2014 in connection with the Jiansanjiang incident (建三江事件) in which four rights lawyers went to Heilongjiang province to free Falun Gong practitioners from a black jail. The lawyers were tortured and temporarily detained. Dissident intellectual Mo Zhixu’s observations about the political climate in China (paragraph 3 onward) stand out even more today in light of the recent large scale arrests of rights lawyers.   – The Editors     Recently, when lawyers Tang Jitian (唐吉田), Jiang Tianyong (江天勇), Wang Cheng (王成), and Zhang Junjie (张俊杰) went to the Jiansanjiang Agricultural Reclamation District in Heilongijiang to provide legal assistance to Falun Gong practitioners being held at a so-called legal education center, they […]


By China Change, published: July 23, 2015. Chinese government has been reining in rights lawyers, a group of law practitioners passionate about seeking social justice by fighting a judicial system riddled with injustices. On July 10, China astounded the world by arresting dozens of them (some were released later). Over 200 more in 24 provinces have since been summoned for questioning. Below are short biographies of those who have remained in custody or forced disappearance.   13 Lawyers and Staffers Wang Yu (王宇), age 44, is from Ulanhot, Inner Mongolia. She graduated with a degree in law from China University of Political Science and Law in 1994 and at the time of her arrest was a lawyer with the Fengrui Law Firm in Beijing. Wang has […]


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 […]


By Teng Biao, published: April 3, 2014   On March 20, Chinese rights lawyers Tang Jitian (唐吉田), Jiang Tianyong (江天勇), Wang Cheng (王成) and Zhang Junjie (张俊杰) visited the city of Jiansanjiang (建三江), where the “Legal Education Base of Heilongjiang Agricultural Reclamation Administration” was located, to demand the release of innocent citizens who have been detained for practicing Falungong. On March 22,  the Jiansanjiang Public Security Bureau gave the four lawyers each a 15-day administrative detention penalty for “using cult activities to harm society.” Over the last two weeks or so, more rights lawyers and scores of citizen activists across the country converged on Jiansanjiang to hold protests to free the detained lawyers. Zhang Junjie has since been released and reported that he and three others […]


By Xu Zhiyong China’s rights movement through the work of Gong Meng.    1 April 25, 2003, as SARS emptied out the streets in Beijing, I sat in front of my computer reading about the Sun Zhigang (孙志刚) coverage, tears quietly welling up in my eyes. Over the second half of 2002, I had started to investigate the laws concerning custody and repatriation (of migrant populations), and knew what Sun had gone through. Following Sun’s tragedy, Yu Jiang (俞江), Teng Biao (滕彪) and I proposed a constitutional review of the case. We mailed our recommendation on May 14 because, on the 13th, the propaganda department of the government banned further “hype” about Sun’s case. Headlines like “Three PhDs Request Constitutional Review” gave the media new fodder, and our […]


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At China Change, a few dedicated staff bring you information about human rights, rule of law, and civil society in China. We want to help you understand aspects of China’s political landscape that are the most censored and least understood. We are a 501(c)(3) organization, and your contribution is tax-deductible. For offline donation, or donor receipt policy, check our “Become a Benefactor” page. Thank you.


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