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[2011-8-8] List of Chinese Human Rights Lawyers being disappeared, imprisoned, criminally detained, and under house arrest

China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group
updated as of 8 Aug, 2011


Missing Lawyer(s)


Gao Zhisheng (Beijing)

Dedicating himself in helping religious practitioners, lawyer Gao Zhisheng wrote three open petitions to President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao urging the Chinese government to cease persecution of religious practitioners. In November 2005, the Beijing Justice Bureau revoked his lawyer’s license and suspended his law firm’s operation for 1 year. In February 2006, Gao began a 48-hour hunger strike action to protest against a police assault on legal rights defender Guo Feixiong in Guangdong. The Chinese government however responded with an immediate crackdown, more than 30 rights defenders who participated in the hunger strike were enforcedly disappeared or detained. Shortly in December 2006, Gao was convicted of ‘inciting subversion of state power’ and was sentenced to 3-year imprisonment with 5-year suspension. In February 2009, while Gao was still serving his suspended sentence, he was taken away and disappeared for 14 months. In the end of March 2010, Gao briefly appeared and on 7 April 2010, he received an interview by Associated Press, and was disappeared again on 20 April. On 11 January 2011, the Associated Press published the content of the interview, in which Gao spoke about the details of torture during his disappearance from February 2009 to March 2010. He was beaten up by the guards for two consecutive days, and was stripped naked and beaten up by the public security with their handguns.

Lawyer(s) Imprisoned


Guo Feixiong (Guangdong)

Guo is a legal rights defender in Guangdong who assisted residents in Taishi Village in Panyu in uncovering the corruptions of local government officials in 2005. He also participated in activities calling for the release of Gao Zhisheng. His active participation in rights-defending activities led to retaliation from the Chinese authorities. In September 2006, the Guangzhou Public Security Bureau formally arrested Guo with the charge of ‘participating in illegal business activities’ with regard to his publication of a book. Guo was sentenced to 5-year imprisonment in November 2007. It was reported that he has been subjected to torture and physical abuse in detention centres. Since July 2009, Guo was prohibited from meeting neither his family members nor his lawyers.

Wang Yonghang (Dalian)

In November 2009, Dalian Lawyer Wang Yonghang was sentenced to 7-year imprisonment at the accusation of publishing articles on overseas websites, which allegedly had violated Article 300 of PRC Criminal Law that states, “whoever forms or uses superstitious sects or secret societies or weird religious organizations or uses superstition to undermine the implementation of the laws and administrative rules and regulations of the State shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than seven years”.

It was since 2007 when Wang started actively providing legal assistance to Falun Gong practitioners. In May 2008, Wang was not allowed to pass the annual assessment on lawyers and consequently lost his lawyer’s license. In July 2009, Wang was ‘kidnapped’ by Dailian state security personnel, and subjected to torture during detention. In about three months later, Dailian Shahekou District Court secretly tried Wang. Yet, his family was only notified of Wang’s sentence 1 week after the verdict.

Zhu Yubiao (Guangdong)

Guangdong lawyer Zhu Yubiao has long been helping and legally representing Falun Gong practitioners. In 2007, he was once grabbed and secretly sentenced to one and a half years of Re-education through Labour. After his earlier release in April 2008, he was barred from renewing his lawyer’s license. Last August, right before Guangzhou held their Asian Games 2010, Lawyer Zhu was grabbed again and his house was raided. He was detained in Guangzhou Haizhu District Detention Centre. He was charged with “using superstitious sects to undermine the implementation of the law” (Section 1, Article 300, PRC Criminal Law). A closed-door trial was undergone without allowing his family’s attendance. The verdict was announced on 13 July 2011. Lawyer Zhu was convicted of “preparing instruments and creating conditions for a crime” and sentenced to 2-year imprisonment.

Lawyer(s) being criminally detained, under residential surveillance or formally arrested


Ni Yulan (Beijing)

On 7 April, 2011 midnight, Beijing human rights lawyer Ni Yulan and her husband Dong Jiqin were forcibly taken away by police from the Yuxingong Guesthouse where they were being kept. Their whereabouts remained unknown until 13 April, Beijing Public Security Bureau Xicheng branch and Changqiao Police Station delivered Ni’s daughter a criminal detention notice, stating Ni was suspected of committing the crime of ‘creating a disturbance’ and was criminally detained since 6 April. According to the source, Ni had been formally arrested by Xicheng District Procuratorate on around 13 May. By around 13 July, the case against lawyer Ni Yulan was transferred to the procuratorate, and an additional charge of “fraud” was imposed on her.

All along, Ni Yulan had played an active role in helping the under-privileged. It is believed that her engagment in Falun gong cases and opposition to the forcible demolition of her “Siheyuan” in Xicheng district had enraged the local officials. In 2002, Ni was alleged “obstructing administrative order”, and was illegally detained by the police. She was beaten up during detention and her legs were seriously injured. She was then convicted for ‘interfering public administration’ and was sentenced to 1-year imprisonment. Due to lack of proper medical treatment, she became partially paralyzed.

In 2008, Ni was sentenced for 2 years at alleged accusations again after she tried to stop the authorities to completely demolish her home. After she was released in April 2010, Ni and her husband were left on the streets. They were then forcibly moved into a hostel by the police and were closely monitored. All others including their daughter were prohibited from visiting them. The public security also forced Ni to pay the hostel rent, and threatened that they would be expelled if they don’t do so. In December 2010, the public security had even cut the electricity of her room suddenly.

Yang Zaixin, Yang Zhonghan, Lo Sifang and Liang Wucheng (Guangxi)

Yang Zaixin, Yang Zhonghan, Lo Sifang and Liang Wucheng were collectively charged with “interfering with testimony” (Article 307 of the PRC Criminal Law) in an intentional wounding case happened in Beihai, Guangxi, in November 2009.

The four lawyers represented and entered not guilty plea for the four defendants, Yang Bingqi, Huang Zifu, Pei Jinde and Pei Gui respectively. The court of first instance was held in September 2010. Three witnesses, Yang Bingyan, Pan Fenghe and Song Qiling, found by the lawyers appeared in court to stand for the defendants. However, they were charged with “giving false testimony” by the Beihai Public Security Bureau in February 2011. Thereafter, the four lawyers were charged with “interfering with testimony”.

The four lawyers were taken away by the officers of Beihai Public Security Bureau Heicheng Branch on 13 June 2011. Yang Zaixin and Yang Zhonghan were criminally detained while Lo Sifang and Liang Wucheng were placed under residential surveillance. On 28 June, Yang Zaixin was formally charged by Beihai Haicheng District Procuratorate.

Lawyer(s) under House Arrest


Zheng Enchong (Shanghai)

In 2003, Zheng represented the displaced residents of Dongbakuai neighborhood of Shanghai Jing’an District to file a lawsuit against the Shanghai Government and the richest man in Shanghai, the property developer Zhou Zhengyi for unlawfully seizing residents’ land. This lawsuit has however triggered Chinese government’s retaliation. In October 2003, Zheng was convicted of ‘illegally obtaining state secrets’. Following his release from prison in June 2006 till now, Zheng and his wife remained under house arrest. The authorities had installed surveillance cameras outside their home and with public security officials guarded round-the-clock. On top of that, his home was always unreasonably raided and Zheng was frequently taken to police station for interrogation.

Chen Guangcheng (Shandong)

In 2005, Chen Guangcheng, a renowned blind legal rights defender, regarded by many fellow rights defenders as a ‘barefoot lawyer’, strived to unveil the coercive family planning policies in Linyi, Shandong Province, which involved forced sterilization, abortion, and other practices in violation of Chinese law and human rights. In August 2006, he was sentenced to 4 years and 3 months imprisonment on allegations of ‘assembling a crowd to disrupt traffic’ and ‘destruction of property’. Released in September 2010, he was immediately placed under house arrest in a rural village in Linyi. His wife Yuan Weijing, their 5-year-old daughter and his elderly mother were also detained at home. In February 2011, a US-based organisation, China-Aid, has published 5 videos about Chen and his family online. In the videos, Chen and Yuan appeared personally speaking of their plight under house arrest. The authorities had installed mobile phone shielding devices around their home in an attempt to block their communications with the outside, and they were closely monitored 24 hours a day. The guards did not allow the couple from leaving their home, their little daughter was therefore forced to drop out of school. The necessities such as food and fuel were merely transported by Chen’s elderly mother from outside. Chen’s long-term chronic diarrhea and the worsening situation of blood in stool could neither be treated. A number of overseas journalists, foreign embassies officials, and mainland human rights defenders had attempted to visit Chens, yet all of them were expelled by local thugs. On 16 June 2011, a “call-for-help” letter written by Yuan was posted online. Yuan detailed the unpleasant situation of the family in the letter. It stated how Chen and she were repeatedly beaten up by dozens of state security personnel sent by the local government on 18 February and in March 2011. Their electricity supply was cut off and their home had been raided a few times in March. All properties were taken away including computers, video camcorders, video tapes, torches, documents, and even the books and toys of their little daughter. Moreover, since mid-March, Chen’s mother was also prohibited from going out for buying food.

Fan Yafeng (Beijing)

Fan holds a PhD from the Institute of Law of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He worked as an associate researcher in the institute and was a leader of a house church. In December 2010, he was taken away by public security officers, and was detained for more than a week. After his conditional release, he was put under house arrest. During his detention, his house and the Shengshan Cultural Research Institute run by him was raided. All the bankcards and bank books were confiscated. His wife and 3-year-old son were also unlawfully isolated. They were barred from internet access, and telephone conversations were monitored. A number of public security officers stationed outside Fan’s house for 24 hours a day, barring his relatives from visiting him. It was reported that a few Beijing lawyers who wished to visit Fan were brutally stopped by public security officers.

Lawyer(s) who were once missing after the anonymous call for Chinese ‘Jasmine Revolution’ in February 2011


Tang Jitian (Beijing) – Tang was taken away by the public security officials on 19th February 2011. This was possibly attributable to his dinner gathering with other human rights lawyers on 16th February when they discussed how to rescue Shandong ‘barefoot lawyer’ Chen Guangcheng, who was under house arrest. After disappearing for 2 weeks, Tang was released on 5th March 2011 and was sent back to his hometown in Jilin. It was reported that he contracted tuberculosis during detention and his current health condition is worrying.


Jiang Tianyong (Beijing) – Jiang was taken away by the public security officials on 19th February 2011. This was possibly attributable to his dinner gathering with other human rights lawyers on 16th February when they discussed how to rescue Shandong ‘barefoot lawyer’ Chen Guangcheng, who was under house arrest. After his disappearance for 60 days, Jiang was released on 19th April 2011.


Teng Biao (Beijing) – Teng was taken away by public security officers on 19th February 2011. This was possibly attributable to his dinner gathering with other human rights lawyers on 16th February when they discussed how to rescue Shandong ‘barefoot lawyer’ Chen Guangcheng, who was under house arrest. After disappearing for 70 days, Teng was released on 29th April 2011.


Li Tiantian (Shanghai) – Li had lost contact with the outside world since 19th February 2011. After disappearing for more than 3 months, she was freed on 24th May and was sent back to her hometown in Xinjiang. In early June, Li took a train back to her home in Shanghai, when she was held up and then detained in the public security office for 3 hours. Shanghai police alleged that she had breached her promise of not returning to Shanghai immediately after her release and not posting messages on the Internet. The public security officers ordered Li not to go back to Shanghai in the following months, and sent her back to her hometown in Xinjiang. On 19th February, Li was abducted by some persons claiming to be police. Her computer was confiscated. She was detained in a hotel for residential surveillance on suspicion of ‘assembling a crowd to disrupt social order’. As Li was very active on Twitter, it was suspected that her disappearance was related to her opinions on the online call for ‘Jasmine Revolution’ in China. Li was not allowed to go back to Shanghai, her usual place of living and work, even though she has tried quite a few times after her release.


Liu Shihui (Guangzhou) – On 20th February 2011, while Liu was on the way to Guangzhou People’s Park to join the ‘Jasmine Revolution’, 4 to 5 strong men approached and beat him up. Liu suffered serious injuries on his legs. When he was released from the hospital on 21st February, 5 to 6 unknown people harassed him by knocking on his home’s door at midnight on 22nd February. Liu late disappeared on 25th February. After disappearing for 3 months, he was sent back to his hometown in Inner Mongolia by the police on 12th June.


Tang Jingling (Guangzhou) – Tang was abducted on 22 February 2011 and disappeared since then. His house was raided on 2 March 2011 and his wife later found from their home a notice issued on March 1, stating Tang was placed under “residential surveillance” at Dashi Training Centre Panyu starting from March 1, 2011, on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power”. No one was able to contact him during the mysterious detention. His wife was prohibited from visiting him, and she was also later placed under house arrest. His whereabouts was unknown for over 5 months until 2 August 2011 when he was sent back to his hometown in Hubei province, while his wife was also freed from house arrest. According to the report, during his “residential surveillance”, he was rejected for meeting a lawyer and prohibited from sleeping. When his health condition turned critical, he was merely allowed to sleep for 1-2 hours a day. The police guard also humiliated and threatened him of giving him a heavy sentence.


Wu Zhenqi (Guangzhou) – Wu disappeared after being taken away on 25th February 2011, reason unknown. He was released on 4th March 2011.


Liu Zhengqing (Guangzhou) – Liu disappeared after being taken away on 25th March 2011, reason unkown. He was released on 28th April 2011.


Jin Guanghong (Beijing) – Jin disappeared after being taken away on 8th April 2011, reason unknown. He was sent to home in Hubei on 19th April 2011.


Liu Xiaoyuan (Beijing) – Was taken away on 14th April 2011, reason unkown. He was released on 19th April 2011.


Li Fangping (Beijing) – Li disappeared after being taken away on29th April 2011, reason unkown. He was released on 4th May 2011.


Li Xiongbing (Beijing) – Li disappeared after being taken away on 4th May 2011, reason unkown. He was released on 6th May 2011.


Xu Zhiyong (Beijing) – Xu disappeared after being taken away on 20th May 2011. He was released home the next day. It was suspected that the abduction was for preventing him from attending a seminar concerning equality of education.