Kou Yanding (寇延丁)Comments Off on Kou Yanding (寇延丁)
Crime: Creating a disturbance
Length of Punishment: N/A
Trial Date: N/A
Sentencing Date: N/A
Dates of Detention/Arrest: October 9, 2014 (detained); February 14, 2014 (released)
Place of Incarceration: Haidian District Detention Center (Beijing Municipality)
Beijing police seized writer and activist Kou Yanding (寇延丁) from a train en route to Shanxi Province. A local police station that had initially held her confirmed that Kou was transferred to Haidian District Detention Center, but that detention facility denied her presence. Police later raided Kou’s home and confiscated several boxes of materials in addition to changing the lock on her door. Friends speculate that her support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and affiliation with Transition Institute, an independent think tank whose founder was arrested, might be the reason for her detention. Kou Yanding has been held incommunicado since she was taken into police custody, and her family still has not received an official detention notice. According to China’s Criminal Procedure Law (CPL), which stipulates that after a criminal detention is issued, the police must notify the family within 24 hours. In addition, the detainee must also be arrested or released within 37 days.
Born in 1965, Kou Yanding is from Shandong Province and lives in Beijing. After graduation, Kou worked as an accountant but was later fired after she exposed fraud in the business. In 1993, through her job, she learned about issues faced by people with disabilities, particularly social stigma, prompting her to write articles and also produce a documentary to promote understanding of this marginalized group. Years later, Kou realized that despite such efforts—state media had aired her documentary, and she also had cooperated with government officials and businesses to bring about changes—the situation of disabled persons had not substantially improved. Disappointed by the lack of concrete results, she turned to the non-governmental field to continue her advocacy.
Kou has written a number of books on issues related to freedom, civil society activism, and peaceful democratic transition. In 2004, she published a book of stories about more than a dozen disabled artists. She established an NGO in 2005 to continue to promote the issues and rights of persons with disabilities. That same year, she went to visit Chen Guangcheng (陈光城), the blind “barefoot” lawyer who was under house arrest at the time, and later assisted in his escape in 2012.