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Courageous Voices: A Rising Activism

As the crackdown on lawyers and defenders that began in July 2015 continues with prolonged incommunicado detention of individuals without trial, family members of those still detained, and of those released after suffering abuses in custody, have not stopped speaking out to demand justice. In these narratives, what we are witnessing is a rising activism among a group determined to hold the authorities accountable for unlawfully suppressing citizens who are exercising rights protected by Chinese and international law.  (All text translated by Human Rights in China.)

TRANSLATION BY HUMAN RIGHTS IN CHINA
“If I don't do this, and if nobody does it, then what would happen to the people who need help?”—Wang Quangzhang . . . As the wife of a human rights lawyer, I worry about your safety constantly. Every time I see you drag your tired body home after rushing around day and night—everything my eyes...
Actually, out of the Li brothers, Li Heping is not the most inspiring one; it is Li Chunfu. Heping’s ancestral home can be described as poverty-stricken. When Li Heping and I were married there, the marital bed had no mattress; it was straw covered in a coarse cotton sheet. The year when Heping...
I could not have imagined that while looking for Li Heping, his younger brother Li Chunfu, who is also a lawyer, was taken away by the Tianjin Municipal Security Bureau Hexi Branch in the evening of August 1. At the same time, his home was also searched, and his computer, files, books, and other...
Before, I always used to complain that the days passed by too quickly. But from July 10 onwards, every minute has been a torment. After the search of my home had finished, I thought that however excruciating it might be, it wouldn’t exceed 48 hours. After waiting through this period, I asked a...
After Heping was taken away by police officers without any proper procedure, we kept waiting for a detention notice to be served. And then after 48 hours, we started to actively search for him. But the only response we got was, “I don’t know.” Afterwards, when I heard that a child of lawyers was...
Kao La (pen name of Zhao Wei) is a 24 years-old young woman, born in 1991. She graduated from Jiangxi Normal University Journalism School, and has been involved in public interest activities since her university years. Since October 2014, she has been working as the famous human rights lawyer Li...
Heping is not a big man, just 164cm tall. Because he worked so hard, his hair turned half white a decade ago. He continued dyeing his hair until six months ago, when he jokingly said, “truth starts at the beginning” [“beginning” is “head” in Chinese]. Heping, in my opinion, is a thinking type of...
Corrupt officials and privileged people will not believe in the law, and won’t care whether lawyers exist. Because they live as the organization’s people, they will die as the organization’s ghosts. But the average citizen wants this society to have order and rules. Perhaps previously, facing...
We hereby state: Lawyer Wang Yu represented Fan Mugen—my [Fan Yonghai’s] father and my [Gu Panzhen’s] husband—in his defense. Wang Yu held onto principles, was not afraid of pressure, and conducted the defense in accordance with the law. The lawyers never instructed me (or my family) to do anything...
Dear Father and Mother: I, your unfilial son, kowtow to you both. Not only am I unable to let you live your later years in peace, or provide Mother the means to obtain comprehensive traditional medicine treatment, I have brought you to Beijing, and brought upon you a huge disaster. Perhaps you know...

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