Watch List of Detainees and Prisoners of Conscience in Need of Medical Attention

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Watch List of Detainees and Prisoners of Conscience in Need of Medical Attention

Updated: July 13, 2018

Depriving medical treatment to individuals in custody is a life-threatening form of torture. Authorities’ failure or refusal to provide adequate medical care for detainees violates Chinese law and, among other international standards, the Convention against Torture, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners. In the Concluding Observations from its review of China in May 2014, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights expressed its concern about reports that detained Chinese activists and lawyers have been deprived of medical care as a form of government reprisal. Recognizing this serious issue, the Committee urged China to guarantee these individuals “have adequate access to health care in all circumstances.”

The deprivation of medical care to further persecute detainees and prisoners of conscience reflects a tacit central government policy and a systematic pattern in practice. This form of abuse has led to the death of activists, as seen most recently in the tragic case of Cao Shunli (曹顺利). Ms. Cao was managing health conditions at the time she was seized in September 2013, but she was not allowed to take medication that she had brought into detention. After not receiving adequate medical treatment, Cao eventually died in March 2014 from complications of illnesses that worsened or came about during over five months in custody. Others who have died after not being provided medical care in custody include Chen Xiaoming (陈晓明), Duan Huimin (段惠民), and Goshul Lobsang.

CHRD launched our Medical Watch List of Chinese detainees and prisoners of conscience on June 26, 2014, to mark the United Nations’ International Day of Support of Victims of Torture. Below are cases of currently detained or imprisoned individuals who suffer from deteriorating health and have been deprived of adequate medical treatment and denied release on medical grounds. Many of these individuals are experiencing the same pattern of abuse that led to the death of Cao Shunli—a lack of access to adequate medical treatment while in custody, a gradual decline of health and development of new illnesses or injuries from torture, and rejection of (or no response to) requests by lawyers or family members for medical release. CHRD will be updating this list on a regular basis with new information. Those released on medical parole are still under watch, as the government confirmed they are not “free” and thus do not have full choice of medical treatment and doctors. Some individuals previously on the list and since released continue to be denied access to necessary medical care.

The following 16 individuals are currently under medical watch:

  • Wang Jing 王晶
  • Li Yuhan (李昱函)
  • Li Xiaoling (李小玲)
  • Huang Qi (黄琦)
  • Yin Xu’an (尹旭安)
  • Lü Gengsong (吕耿松)
  • Hu Shigen 胡石根
  • Gao Yu (高瑜)
  • Liu Jiacai (刘家财)
  • Ilham Tohti (伊力哈木.土赫提)
  • Huang Wenxun (黄文勋)
  • Guo Feixiong (郭飞雄)
  • Liu Ping (刘萍)
  • Lü Jiaping (吕加平)
  • Gao Zhisheng (高智晟)
  • Chen Xi (陈西)


The following 17 individuals were previously under watch and have since been released:

  • Shan Lihua 单利华
  • Hada (哈达)
  • Chen Kegui (陈克贵)
  • Huang Yan (黄燕)
  • Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche (普布泽仁仁波切)
  • Liu Xia (刘霞)
  • Su Changlan (苏昌兰)
  • Yu Shiwen (于世文)
  • Tie Liu (铁流)
  • Pu Zhiqiang (浦志强)
  • Ren Ziyuan (任自元)
  • Karma Tsewang (堪布尕玛才旺)
  • Zhang Lin (张林)
  • Wang Kouma (王扣玛)
  • Zhu Yufu (朱虞夫)
  • Xie Fulin (谢福林)
  • Wang Yonghang (王永航)


The following 3 individuals were under watch and have since died after being released on medical parole/bail

  • Cao Shunli (曹顺利) & Her Legacy
  • Yang Tongyan (杨同彦)
  • Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波)

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