Individuals Affected by July 9 Crackdown on Rights Lawyers

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Individuals Affected by July 9 Crackdown on Rights Lawyers

Last updated: February 16, 2017

Massive police operations targeting human right lawyers and coordinated by the Ministry of Public Security began on July 9, 2015, across China. During the crackdown, authorities focused on the Beijing Fengrui Law Firm and lawyers who supported Fengrui lawyer Wang Yu, while other law firms have also been affected. Public security bureau (PSB) officers searched homes, businesses, and law firms, and abducted, detained, summoned, or visited over 300 individuals. Officers warned people against speaking publicly about being visited or detained for questioning; therefore, it is not possible to accurately estimate the number of individuals affected because some people may have remained silent about their encounters with police.

To date, 8 individuals are still in detention or prison. In total, 6 have been tried, of whom 4 were convicted and 2 are awaiting sentencing. have been indicted and are facing trial. 26 were released after lengthy periods in custody, including 2 on suspended sentences, 12 after being formally arrested, and 5 after six months in residential surveillance at a designated location. At least 300 others were summoned for questioning and then released after 24 hours. 13 individuals released on “bail” or after receiving a suspended sentence have since disappeared, and are believed to be under police control.

The detentions listed below include cases of lawyers and activists put on trial, under arrest, under “residential surveillance” in police-designated secret locations, forcibly disappeared, and released after a lengthy period of detention. (Those who police forcibly disappeared were held for over 24 hours, the limit set by Chinese law for the release of a detainee if there is no legal reason to keep detaining the individual.) This page does not contain a comprehensive list of individuals questioned and released after 24 hours. Instead, CHRD has focused on those detained in July 2015 as well as other individuals whose cases police have linked to investigations of those initial cases (e.g. officers transferred their cases to a jurisdiction in Tianjin), or were later detained for defending or supporting detainees. CHRD continually updates this page.

Individuals in custody (by case status, crime, then alphabetical order) :

Tried & Imprisoned:

“Subversion of state power” (Criminal Law, 105(1))

  • Beijing-based dissident and writer, Hu Shigen (胡石根), male, was tried and convicted on charges of “subversion of state power” on August 3, 2016 by the Tianjin No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court and handed a 7.5 year prison sentence. His family were not allowed to attend his trial, and his family-appointed lawyer was never granted a single meeting with his client. Hu was formally arrested on January 8, 2016 on suspicion of “subversion”, and then  Tianjian No. 2 People’s Procuratorate indicted Hu on the same charges, according to a post on the procuratorate’s weibo account dated July 15. Hu was first taken away on July 10, 2015 and criminally detained the next day. On August 7, police transferred him to “residential surveillance at a designated location,” where he was held on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” and “creating a disturbance.” Hu, and activists Liu Yongping (below) and Gou Hongguo (below) belong to the same underground Christian church in Beijing. Hu Shigen previously served 16 years of a 20 year prison sentence for “organizing and leading a counterrevolutionary group” and “counterrevolutionary propaganda and incitement” for his attempt to share information about the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre, and was severely tortured in prison.
  • Lawyer Zhou Shifeng (周世锋), male, director of Fengrui Law Firm, was tried and convicted of “subversion of state power” on August 4, 2016 by Tianjin No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court, and sentenced to seven years. Zhou had been formally arrested on January 8, 2016, on suspicion of “subversion.” He is being held at Tianjin No. 1 Detention Center. In June 2016, Tianjin police recommended Zhou be indicted, and his case has been transferred to prosecutors for review, according to his government-appointed lawyer. Tianjian No. 2 People’s Procuratorate indicted Zhou on charges of “subversion,” according to a post on the procuratorate’s weibo account dated July 15. First detained in Beijing on July 10, state media later reported he was under criminal detention. Zhou’s client Zhang Miao (张淼), a news assistant with a German weekly, had been released the night before after spending months in detention for supporting the Hong Kong protests. Zhou had gone to Songzhuang, in the outskirts of Beijing, to welcome Zhang as she was released. He stayed in a hotel, where police grabbed him the next morning. Hearing his shouts, colleagues in the next room rushed out and saw police taking him away, with his head hooded. Before his detention, Zhou had announced he was establishing an 8 million RMB (US$1.2 million) China Lawyers Defense Fund to support the families of persecuted lawyers across the country. Zhou also promised to support the family of Wu Gan, who worked as a special advisor to the Fengrui Law Firm before his arrest. Zhou’s defence attorney Yang Jinzhu (杨金柱) has been summoned for questioning by Changsha PSB and was warned by the Changsha Judicial Department not to travel to Beijing.

Tried (no verdict announced):

  • Hubei activist Yin Xu’an (尹旭安), male, was tried on September 13, 2016 for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” by Daye City People’s Court. His trial had initially been set for August 18, but was postponed two days prior for unclear reasons. His family were not allowed to attend the trial, no advance public notice was made, and the courthouse was surrounded by a heavy police presence. Yin was initially taken into custody on July 28, 2015, formally arrested on September 26, 2015, and indicted on an unknown date. He is being held at Daye City Detention Center in Hubei. Three days before police seized Yin, he and other activists had publicly shown support for activist Wu Gan (a.k.a. “The Butcher”), who was detained in late May, by wearing t-shirts with Wu’s image in front of the Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan and then posting photos online of this activity. According to his lawyer Lin Qilei (蔺其磊), the accusation against Yin claim that he also participated in demonstrations around “sensitive” topics in addition to the Wu Gan protest, including memorials for dissident Lin Zhao, detained HRD Liu Ping, and outside the trial of Fan Mugen, whose supporters say had been wrongfully accused. Yin was first reportedly issued a 15-day administrative detention, but police did not release him once the punishment ended on August 13. Police then told the family that Yin was given an additional 10-day punishment for “fighting” in the detention house. When relatives went to see Yin on August 23—the day he presumably would have been released—police said that he had been placed under criminal detention, but the family was not given official notification.  On January 28, 2016, one of Yin’s lawyers went to complain to the Huangshi City People’s Procuratorate after being turned away by detention center police, but procuratorate officials did not assist him. Yin has been held incommunicado for 10 months until he was granted a meeting with his lawyer in May 2016, when he told his lawyer about torture he had suffered in detention.
  • Hubei activist Wang Fang (王芳), female, was put on trial on February 10, 2017 on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles.” The trial ended without a sentence being pronounced. Wang was formally arrested on September 15, 2015 and then indicted on an unknown date. Wang’s lawyer Liu Zhengqing (刘正清) met Wang on September 29, 2016 and learnt that an official at the Wuchang District Court had put pressure on Wang to confess during a meeting on September 22, but she refused. On December 5, her lawyer was informed the trial had been delayed again, as prosecutors had applied to the court to conduct further investigation. She was seized in Wuhan on July 28, 2015 by a group of more than 20 national security officers at the home of a fellow activist that had been raided by police. Reportedly, the residence contained t-shirts made in support of activist Wu Gan (a.k.a. “The Butcher”), who was detained in late May. Wang is being held at Wuhan No. 1 Detention Center. She was initially given a 15-day administrative detention, but police criminally detained her on August 8, 2015. Officers have said that Wang was arrested not only for wearing a t-shirt in support of Wu Gan but for other activities as well.

Formally Charged (indicted):

“Subversion of state power” (Criminal Law, 105(1))

  • Prominent lawyer Li Heping (李和平), male, was formally arrested on January 8, 2016 on suspicion of “subversion of state power.” He is being held at Tianjin No. 1 Detention Center. On December 5, 2016, Tianjin No. 2 People’s Procuratorate told his family-appointed lawyer Ma Lianshun (马连顺) that Li had been indicted, but refused to disclose which crime had had been formally charged with; authorities later confirmed to his wife that it is “subversion of state power.” His indictment comes after a lengthy delay from authorities. In June 2016, Tianjin police recommended Li be indicted, and his case has been transferred to prosecutors for review, according to his government-appointed lawyer. On August 8, officials at Tianjin No. 2 People’s Procuratorate informed his wife that his case had been sent back to police for further investigation, and the case was returned to the prosecutors for review on August 15. The official notice confirming Li’s arrest came after six months of enforced disappearance. Tianjin PSB officers seized Li on July 10 around 14:00. They did not produce a warrant and searched his Beijing home and his firm, Globe-Law Law Firm, confiscating hard drives and computers. His legal assistant Zhao Wei was also forcibly seized from her home and put under residential surveillance. Police reportedly told Li’s wife that the matter involved a “criminal case,” but they refused to tell her where they were taking lawyer Li. In a July 18, 2015 report, Xinhua News Agency stated Li was being held under compulsory criminal measures, but the family had not received any notification at that point and not until his arrest in January. Li signed the open letter supporting Wang Yu. He has defended a number of sensitive cases involving Falun Gong practitioners, Christians and prominent individuals like lawyer Gao Zhizheng (高智晟).
  • Wang Quanzhang (王全), male, lawyer with Fengrui Law Firm, was formally arrested on January 8, 2016 on suspicion of “subversion of state power.” On August 8, 2016 officials at Tianjin No. 2 People’s Procuratorate informed his wife that his case has already been recommended for indictment. They then sent Wang’s case back to police for further investigation on December 5. It was later returned to prosecutors who indicted him on February 14, 2017. Held at Tianjin No. 2 Detention Center. First reported to be under criminal suspicion in Xinhua on July 11, 2015, but not detained until August 3, 2015. His lawyer Li Zhongwei (李仲伟) confirmed on August 10 that Wang had been put under criminal detention on suspicion of “creating a disturbance” and “inciting subversion of state power” on August 4. He was previously held at the Hexi District Detention Center in Tianjin Municipality. On August 9, 2016, officials Tianjin No. 2 People’s Procuratorate told Wang’s family-appointed lawyer Yu Wensheng (余文生) that Wang had given police a letter in February 2016 claiming that he did not want to engage a lawyer and wanted to terminate the employment of his family-appointed lawer. However, officials refused to allow Yu to take a copy of the document, which is his right under Chinese regulations. With no independent verficiation of Wang’s treatment in detention and the six month delay in producing the letter, it is likely Wang has been coerced to sign such a letter. Lawyer Wang had previously been violently attacked in June 2015 in retaliation for handling sensitive cases.
  • Activist Wu Gan (吴淦), widely known as “The Butcher” (屠夫), male, was indicted on charges of “subversion of state power” and “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” on January 3, 2017 and his case transferred to Tianjin No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court. He had been initially been formally arrested on July 3, 2015, on suspicion of “libel,” “creating a disturbance,” and “inciting subversion of state power.” In arresting him on these charges, police added the far more serious “inciting subversion” offense to the two others applied when Wu was criminally detained on May 27. He is being held at Tianjin No. 2 Detention Center, and from January 20, 2016, Tianjin police re-started the period of investigation on his case, claiming that new evidence had emerged. On August 11, 2016, Tianjin authorities issued a notice to his lawyer refusing his request to visit Wu Gan, citing “national security” reasons and that Wu is now being held on suspicion of the more serious “subversion of state power” charge. Tianjin No. 2 People’s Procuratorate informed his lawyer Yan Wenxin (燕文薪) on August 22, 2016 that police have recommended indictment and his case has moved to the prosecutor for review. Prior to his arrest, Wu had been hired by the Beijing Fengrui Law Firm, and after Wu was taken into custody, the state media agency Xinhua tried to vilify his unconventional advocacy campaigns, which combine spirited online speech, humor, and street performance. In particular, official media rebuked him for criticizing local officials in Heilongjiang Province, where a policeman shot dead a petitioner inside a train station in early May 2015. A native of Fujian Province, Wu was initially seized on May 20 outside a courthouse in Nanchang City in Jiangxi, where he had staged a performance protest, called “selling my body to raise funds,” to support harassed lawyers working on a death penalty case involving defendants who had been tortured to confess. Police obstructed visits with him by his lawyers at Yongtai County Detention Center, where he was initially held and reportedly subjected to lengthy interrogations for days in a row. When his lawyer, Yan Xin (燕薪), requested to meet with Wu on June 30, 2015, police denied the request, citing that Wu’s “inciting subversion” charge falls under “endangering state security” crimes, and that Yan’s meeting him might lead to “leaking state secrets.” Wu Gan was granted his first visit with his lawyers on December 9, 2016, where he told them he was in ok health, but had lost approximately 30 kilograms since being detained. He reported that police keep pressuring him to confess.

Inciting Subversion (105(2))

  • Lawyer Xie Yang (谢阳), male, was formally arrested by Changsha Public Security Bureau on January 8, 2016, on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” and indicted on December 16. He is now being held at Changsha Public Security No. 2 Detention Center. According to a statement released by his wife on August 12, Xie Yang’s case has been transferred to the procuratorate for review. She has repeatedly raised concerns that Xie has been tortured and mistreated in detention. Xie’s arrest followed six months under “residential surveillance at a police designated location,” during which police refused Xie all access to his lawyer and did not notify his family of his location. Police first detained Xie on July 11 from his hotel in Huaihua City, Hunan Province with his assistant, Wei Deifeng (魏得丰), who was released after 24 hours. Xie’s lawyers Zhang Chongshi (张重实) and Lin Qilei (蔺其磊) have been repeatedly denied access to their client on the grounds that he is charged with a crime in the category of “endangering national security” and that the lawyers could hinder the investigation or leak state secrets (under Article 37, China’s Criminal Procedure Law). On one occasion in July 2015, police gave lawyer Zhang a notice denying his request. Lawyer Xie was a victim in an incident of violence in 2015 in retaliation for his handling of sensitive cases. He is a lawyer with Hunan Gangwei Law Firm.

Released following lengthy detention (by type of detention, then alphabetical order):

Released and currently missing or under strict police control (list is not exhaustive due to difficulties in verifying such information):

Released on suspended sentence after trial

  • Activist Gou Hongguo (沟洪国) also known as Ge Ping (戈平), male, was tried and convicted of “subversion of state power” on August 5, 2016 by Tianjin No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court. Gou received a three year sentence, suspended for three years. His wife was not allowed to attend the trial, and his family-appointed lawyers were barred from defending him. Following his release on a suspended sentence, Gou is reportedly being held in a guesthouse in Chengu with his wife and child. The family are not allowed to contact supporters. Gou was formally arrested on suspicion of “subversion of state power” on January 8, 2016. Held at Tianjin No. 2 Detention Center. In June 2016, Tianjin police recommended Guo be indicted, and his case has been transferred to prosecutors for review. Tianjian No. 2 People’s Procuratorate indicted Guo on charges of “subversion,” according to a post on the procuratorate’s weibo account dated July 15. Tianjin Public Security Bureau officers had first seized Guo from his Beijing home on July 10, and then later put under “residential surveillance at a designated location” on suspicion of “creating a disturbance.” Police also searched his home and office of his company. In mid-August, authorities denied Guo a visit from his lawyer on national security grounds, saying his charge had been changed to “inciting subversion of state power.” Guo and activists Liu Yongping and Hu Shigen (below) belong to the same underground church in Beijing.
  • Beijing-based activist Zhai Yanmin (翟岩民), male, was tried and convicted on August 2, 2016 on charges of “subversion of state power.” Tianjin No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court sentenced him to three years imprisonment, suspended for four years. Following his release on a suspended sentence, Zhai has been under the control of police. He is reportedly forced to wear an electronic tracking device, and police escort him to locations outside his home. Zhai had been formally arrested in January 2016 on charges of “subversion” by Tianjin authorities, though his wife did not receive an arrest notification. Zhai is currently being held at Tianjin No. 2 Detention Center, after being moved on an unknown date before April 2016. Tianjian No. 2 People’s Procuratorate indicted Zhai on charges of “subversion,” according to a post on the procuratorate’s weibo account dated July 15. Authorities claim that Zhai “dismissed” his family appointed lawyer, Ge Wenxiu (葛文秀), and appointed new lawyers in February. However, they have refused to allow Ge to meet with Zhai or produce written confirmation of such a decision. Police initially criminally detained Zhai and at least 16 others on June 15, 2015 on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place” and “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” Most had been detained the day after they held a protest outside the Weifang City People’s Court in Shandong Province. Zhai was picked up in Beijing, and held at Fengtai District Detention Center before being moved to Weifang. Police released 12 individuals a month later on bail, but Zhai, Ms. Zhang Weihong (张卫红 also known as Zhang Wanhe 张皖荷), Liu Xing (刘星), Li Yanjun (李燕军), and Ms. Yao Jianqing (姚建清) remained in custody. Zhai’s detention is connected to the police investigation into Beijing Fengrui Law Firm. On June 21, 2015, state media accused the group detained in Weifang as being “paid” to protest in order to influence court decisions, and named Zhai as the organizer of the group. Days after massive police raids began targeting human rights lawyers, state media released articles denouncing Fengrui Law Firm as a “criminal gang” and tied Zhai Yanmin to its alleged crimes, claiming he had “confessed,” and broadcasting clips. He has not been allowed a visit with his lawyer throughout his detention. Zhai participated in the 1989 pro-democracy protests as a student, and was also involved in New Citizens’ Movement campaigns. He has been detained several times in the past for protesting in support of detained human rights defenders.

Released on “bail pending further investigation” after being formally arrested:

  • Lawyer Bao Longjun (包龙军), husband of lawyer Wang Yu, was released on bail sometime in the first week of August 2016 following his wife’s televised “confession” on July 31. They are now reportedly being held in an apartment in Inner Mongolia with their son under strict police control and not allowed to contact supporters. Bao had been formally arrested on January 8, 2016, on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power.” He was held at Tianjin No. 2 Detention Center. Bao was seized by police at Beijing Capital International Airport on the evening of July 8 along with his son, who was later released. Authorities then put Bao under “residential surveillance at a designated location” by Tianjin police on suspicion of “creating a disturbance” and “inciting subversion of state power.” His family and lawyers had received no information on his status from authorities until August 24, and have not been allowed to visit him. Bao Longjun received his law license in Inner Mongolia but is not employed by a law firm.
  • Gao Yue (高月), female, paralegal to lawyer Li Heping in Beijing, was released on bail on an unknown date in April. Following her release on bail, she has reportedly returned to her hometown. Police confiscated her id card, banned her from contacting supporters, and restrict her freedom of movement. Police formally arrested Gao on January 8, 2016, on suspicion of “helping to destroy evidence.” She has been held at Tianjin No. 1 Detention Center. She first went missing July 20 and her family later received a notice on July 24 from the Tianjin PSB stating she was in “residential surveillance at a designated location” on suspicion of “creating a disturbance” and “inciting subversion of state power.” Gao was working on a project on China’s implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment with the UK-based NGO The Rights Practice and was the recipient of a EU subsidy. Authorities have denied her access to legal counsel on national security grounds.
  • Trainee lawyer Li Shuyun (李姝云), female, with Fengrui Law Firm, was formally arrested on January 8, 2016 on suspicion of “subversion of state power.” She was held at Tianjin No. 1 Detention Center from her arrest to her release on “bail pending further investigation” on April 8. Following her release, supporters have not been able to contact her and verify her current status. Tianjin Municipality Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers initially seized her from her home on July 10. and took away a computer and hard disk. They claimed they were working with Beijing police and that they were investigating a “criminal case.” She was under enforced disappearance in the months prior to her arrest.
  • Activist Liu Yongping (刘永平) also known by screen name Lao Mu (老木), male, was formally arrested on January 8, 2016 on suspicion of “subversion of state power.” Held at Tianjin No. 1 Detention Center until his release on “bail pending further investigation” on August 8, 2016. Following his “release,” Liu was held under house arrest in a guesthouse in Tianjin, and only allowed one visit home in Jiangxi Province, when his elderly father fell ill. On October 21, police in Tianjin handed him over to the local national security officers in Pingxiang, and he is now living with his parents under police sureveillance and forbidden from leaving Pingxiang. First taken away by police on July 10 and his whereabouts were unknown until his brother received a notice from Hexi District PSB in Tianjin on August 16 that Liu is being held at “residential surveillance at a designated location” on suspicion of “creating a disturbance.” Liu and activists Hu Shigen and Gou Hongguo belong to the same underground Christian church in Beijing.
  • Buddhist monk and activist Lin Bin (林斌, aka Monk Wang Yun, 望云和尚), male, was formally arrested on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” on January 8, 2016. Authorities released him in September 2016, and he briefly returned home under police control and has since been taken to a third location, reportedly in Tianjin. His whereabouts are currently unknown. He was previously held at Tianjin No. 2 Detention Center. Lin Bin first disappeared on July 10 at the Chengdu airport in Sichuan after unknown men seized him. Lin is the head monk at the Nine Xianchan Temple in Ningde City, Fujian Province, which was searched on July 9 by unknown individuals. Lin had been travelling in Chengdu due to pressure from the Fujian Linde Religion Supervisory Bureau over his support for human rights lawyers, and Lin was a vocal supporter of detained activist Wu Gan. On August 28, his lawyer Chang Boyang (常伯阳) confirmed that Tianjin PSB Hexi District sub-branch had been holding Lin under residential surveillance at a secret location on suspicion of an “endangering national security” crime. Lin had initially been seized on suspicion of “creating a disturbance.”
  • Tang Zhishun (唐志顺), male, activist from Beijing, was formally arrested on May 4, 2016, on suspicion of “organizing others to cross national borders,” according to a police notice sent to his family by authorities in Tianjin. Released on unknown date, but information became public in late December. His current whereabouts are unknown, but is believed to be in Beijing.  Tang was seized by Burmese and Chinese police on October 6, 2015, from Huadu Guesthouse in Mong La, Myanmar. Tang disappeared along with Xing Qingxian (below) and Bao Zhuoxun (包卓轩), the 16-year old son of Wang Yu and Bao Longjun (above). Three or four days later, Tang’s home in Beijing was searched by local police, who seized several items, and summoned his younger sister’s family for questioning on October 12. Bao Zhuoxun was returned to Inner Mongolia and is under strict police surveillance. Tang remains held incommunicado as of this date. His family has not received information on his health condition, and they have no knowledge of coercive measures, if any, that have been used against him. After making inquiries in Inner Mongolia, the lawyers received word from local authorities that Xing and Tang were in Tianjin; they then made multiple unsuccessful attempts to see them—in October and November 2015, and in January and February 2016. Authorities from the Tianjin Municipal Public Security Bureau denied the lawyers’ requests, stating that the cases are of “grave significance, hence a meeting is not allowed.” The only information about the two made public by Chinese authorities has been through state media—Global Times and Xinhua—which stated the two men were suspected of “illegally crossing the national border.” Bao Zhuoxuan was reportedly trying to reach Thailand to claim political asylum in the United States, and Xing and Tang were accompanying him.
  • Wang Yu (王宇), female, lawyer at Fengrui Law Firm, was formally arrested on January 8, 2016, on suspicion of “subversion of state power.” She was held at Tianjin No. 1 Detention Center, until her mysterious release on “bail” on an unknown date sometime in July 2016. On August 1, 2016 a Hong Kong media group released an interview with Wang Yu, in which she claimed that regreted her work, denounced her former boss Zhou Shifeng, and claimed foreign forces tried to “use” her to “attack” and “discredit” the Chinese government. She is now reportedly living in an apartment in Inner Mongolia with her husband and son under strict police control, and they cannot contact supporters. Wang Yu was first taken away from her home in the early morning of July 9, and her status was initially unclear, as state media reported days later she had been put under criminal detention. Later, it emerged she had been put under “residential surveillance at a designated location” on orders of Tianjin PSB on suspicion of “creating a disturbance” and “inciting subversion of state power.” Her lawyers have been blocked from visiting her on the grounds that her case involves national security. Wang had initialy been taken into custody after dropped off her husband Bao Longjun (see below) and their teenage son at the Beijing airport in the evening of June 8, but they never boarded their flight. Her son has been released into the care of his aunt. He was reportedly beaten by police, who also confiscated his passport and have repeatedly questioned him. Wang Yu has represented a number of high-profile political cases, including activist Cao Shunli (曹顺利), Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti (伊力哈木.土赫提), and more recently Wu Gan (吴淦), aka “The Butcher” (屠夫), as well sensitive cases involving Falun Gong practitioners, Hong Kong supporters, and other defenders. She had been the victim of a smear campaign orchestrated by the official Xinhua News Agency prior to her disappearance in July, related to a 2008 railway incident in Tianjin during which she was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison. The inclusion of Tianjin police in the raids may indicate a connection to the case and the smear campaign.
  • Xing Qingxian (幸清贤), male, activist based in Chengdu, was formally arrested on May 6, 2016, on suspicion of “organizing others to cross national borders,” according to a police notice sent to his family by authorities in Tianjin. He was being held at Tianjin Municipal No. 2 Detention Center and released on unknown date. The information only became public in late December. Xing’s current whereabouts are unknown. Xing was first seized by Burmese and Chinese police on October 6, 2015 from Huadu Guesthouse in Mong La, Myanmar. Xing disappeared along with Tang Zhishun (above) and Bao Zhuoxun (包卓轩), the 16-year old son of Wang Yu and Bao Longjun (above). Two days later, Xing’s home in Jinniu District in Chengdu was searched by local police and officers from Xing’an, Inner Mongolia, where Bao Zhuoxuan’s grandmother lives. Bao Zhuoxun was returned to Inner Mongolia and is under strict police surveillance. Xing remains held incommunicado as of this date. His family has not received information on his health condition (he has a serious asthma condition that requires daily medication, and also other health issues), and they have no knowledge of coercive measures, if any, that have been used against him. After making inquiries in Inner Mongolia, the lawyers received word from local authorities that Xing and Tang were in Tianjin; they then made multiple unsuccessful attempts to see them—in October and November 2015, and in January and February 2016. Authorities from the Tianjin Municipal Public Security Bureau denied the lawyers’ requests, stating that the cases are of “grave significance, hence a meeting is not allowed.” The only information about the two made public by Chinese authorities has been through state media—Global Times and Xinhua—which stated the two men were suspected of “illegally crossing the national border.” Bao Zhuoxuan was reportedly trying to reach Thailand to claim political asylum in the United States, and Xing and Tang were accompanying him.
  • Paralegal Zhao Wei (赵威), female, also known as Kaola (考拉), aide to lawyer Li Heping (see above), was formally arrested on January 8, 2016, on suspicion of “subversion of state power.” She was held at Tianjin No. 1 Detention Center until her release on “bail pending further investigation” on an unknown date. Tianjin police made an announcement on July 7, 2016, that Zhao Wei had “admitted” to crimes and thus the conditions were met for bail. After she was “released,” she gave an interview with the South China Morning Post, in which she said she regreted her former work, but her husband doubted she was completely free from police control as he could not contact her. In September 2016, police reportedly moved her and her parents to an apartment and they remain under constant surveillance and cannot contact supporters. Dozens of unknown men forcibly initially seized Zhao from her home on July 10, and her lawyer only confirmed on July 28 that she was being held at Hexi District Detention Center in Tianjin Municipality on suspicion of “creating a disturbance” and a crime in the category of “endangering state security.” Authorities denied her lawyers’ visits prior to her arrest.

Released on”bail pending further investigation” after being put under criminal detention but before being arrested:

  • Huang Liqun (黄力群), male, lawyer with Fengrui Law Firm, was criminally detained, according to state media. Police seized Huang on July 10, 2015, and then held him at an unknown location. On January 7, 2016, police released Huang. Huang was made to testify against his former boss Zhou Shifeng at Zhou’s trial on August 4, 2016. He is reportedly unable to contact supporters
  • Beijing lawyer Zhang Kai (张凯), male, was released on March 23, approximately one month after he was placed under criminal detention on February 26, 2016, and following six months under residential surveillance at a secret location and a televised “confession” on February 25. He is now reportedly under house arrest and not allowed to contact supporters. He held been held on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disrupt social order” and “stealing, buying, and providing state secrets and intelligence” for overseas entities. Wenzhou PSB intially took Zhang away on August 25, and his lawyer confirmed on August 31 that Zhang had been put under residential surveillance on an “endangering national security” crime and “gathering a crowd to disrupt social order” charges. Zhang, originally from Beijing, and lawyer Fang Xiangui (方县桂) and legal assistant Liu Peng (刘鹏) were picked up after travelling to Zhejiang Province to provide legal representation to local Christians facing religious persecution under government orders to remove crosses from churches. Zhang’s lawyers were not allowed to visit him, and on February 25, a “confession” by Zhang showed him “admitting” to having damaged “national security” through his actions, and urging Chinese lawyers not to accept financial support from abroad. Fang and Liu were released on December 11, 2015.

Released on”bail pending further investigation” after being arrested (not considered “missing”):

  • Beijing lawyer Li Chunfu (李春富), male, was formally arrested on January 8, 2016 on suspicion of “subversion of state power.” Held at Tianjin No. 2 Detention Center until his release on bail January 12, 2017. Appears to have a serious psychological disorder due to his treatment and possible tortre in detention. Case transferred to Tianjin No. 2 People’s Procuratorate on August 7, 2016. On December 5, Li’s case was again sent back to police for further investigation.  Li went missing after he was taken away by police from his home on August 1. Li is the younger brother of missing lawyer Li Heping (below). Police also searched his home. His family had been given no notification of his detention until his arrest.
  • Activist and administrative assistant at Fengrui Law Firm Liu Sixin (刘四新), male, was formally arrested on January 8, 2016, on suspicion of “subversion of state power.” Held at Tianjin No. 2 Detention Center until his release on bail an unknown date in November 2016. Liu had been held under criminal detention prior to his arrest. Liu disappeared on July 10, phoning his colleague Liu Xiaoyuan (刘晓原) in the morning and suddenly shouting, “They’re coming!” before the line went dead. Liu was held at Hexi District Detention Center in Tianjin prior to his arrest on suspicion of “creating a disturbance” and a crime in the category of “endangering state security.” His defence lawyer tried to visit him on July 28, when his detention location was confirmed, but was blocked by authorities.
  • Beijing lawyer Xie Yanyi (谢燕益), male, was formally arrested on January 8, 2016, on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power.” On August 8, officials at Tianjin No. 2 People’s Procuratorate informed his wife that his case has already been recommended for indictment. Officials then informed his lawyer on December 5 that his case had been sent back to police for further investigation. On January 5, 2017, Xie’s wife reported that Xie had been released, but he did not return home until January 18. Authorities claimed in May 2016 that Xie has engaged a new lawyer approved by the government; his wife subsequently filed a lawsuit against the government-appointed lawyer, alleging the lawyer illegally refused to provide information on her husband’s case. He is being held at Tianjin No. 2 Detention Center. Police first seized Xie in the morning of July 12, 2015. Xinhua listed him as being held under compulsory criminal measures in a July 18 article, though his family had been given no official notice throughout the duration of his detention. He was under enforced disappearance in the months prior to his arrest. Xie Yanyi is a lawyer with Beijing Kaitai Law Firm.

Released on “bail pending further investigation” after being put under criminal detention but before being arrested:

  • Lawyer Chen Taihe (陈泰和), male, also a law professor at the University of Electronic Technology in the Guangxi autonomous region, was criminally detained on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” on July 13. He was held at Guilin City No. 2 Detention Center until his release on August 22. According to his lawyer, Tan Yongpei (覃永沛), who had also been questioned by police in the raids, Chen’s detention is related to a “Citizen’s Action Group” WeChat group. Chen said he was released after promising to disband the group, and he kept silent about his release until late September while his family fled China.
  • Activist Jiang Jianjun (姜建军), male, was criminally detained by Liaoning police on July 12, 2015, on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles.” He was held at Dalian Detention Center until his release on August 18, 2015.
  • Lawyer Ren Quanniu (任全牛), male, was criminally detained on July 8, 2016 on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” for posting social media messages about his client. He was held at Zhengzhou No. 3 Detention Center in Henan Province until his release on “bail pending further investigation” on August 5. Following his so-called “release,” Ren briefly returned home for less than an hour, before authorities forced him to travel. Initially allowed once-a-day phone contact with his wife, he was  completely cut off from contact with the outside world. His whereabouts remained unknown until he confirmed in November 2016 announcing he had been released. During his detention, Ren was only granted one meeting with his lawyers Chang Boyang (常伯阳) and Zhang Junjie (张俊杰), on July 11, afterwards authorities repeatedly denied requests on the grounds he was being interrogated. Ren, the family-appointed defence lawyer of crackdown detainee Zhao Wei (above), was detained the day after Zhao’s release from detention after she was held for a year incommunicado. Zhao’s weibo account began posting messages purpotedly from the activist after her release, but lawyer Ren raised doubts that she had sent the messages. Ren had also posted messages on his social media account on May 27, 2016 about the rumours that Zhao Wei had been sexually abused in the detention center. On July 8, the Zhengzhou Public Security Bureau posted on weibo that Ren is being investigated for disseminating false information about the abuse. Zhao’s husband cast doubt that she was completely free and condemned the detention of lawyer Ren.

Released from “residential surveillance at a designated location”:

After six months

  • Lawyer Sui Muqing (隋牧青), male, was held under “residential surveillance at a designated location” on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” until his release in “bail pending further investigation” on January 6, 2016. Police seized him from his home on the night of July 10 on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” and took him to South Village Police Station in Panyu District, Guangzhou, but he was later transferred to an unknown location. Sui had signed an open letter in support of Wang Yu before his detention. His wife, also a lawyer, was taken away by police and later released. He is reportedly under close surveillance.
  • Xie Yuandong (谢远东), male, trainee lawyer with Fengrui Law Firm, was held under “residential surveillance at a designated location” by Tianjin PSB on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” and “inciting subversion of state power” until his release on “bail pending further investigation” on January 19, 2016. Xie initially disappeared on July 10 and his family learnt from Xinhua article on July 18 that he had been placed under compulsory criminal measures. As a part of the government smear campaign against Fengrui Law Firm, Xie was featured in state media on July 19 “confessing,” likely under duress.

Under six months

  • Lawyer Fang Xiangui (方县桂) was held under “residential surveillance at a designated location” on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disrupt social order” and “stealing, buying, and providing state secrets and intelligence” for overseas entities. Wenzhou PSB intially took Fang away on August 25, along with Beijing lawyer Zhang Kai (above) and legal assistant Liu Peng (below), after they travelled to Zhejiang Province to provide legal representation to local Christians facing religious persecution under government orders to remove crosses from churches. He was released on December 11, 2015.
  • Paralegal Liu Peng (刘鹏) was held under “residential surveillance at a designated location” on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disrupt social order” and “stealing, buying, and providing state secrets and intelligence” for overseas entities. Wenzhou PSB intially took Liu away on August 25, along with Beijing lawyers Zhang Kai and Fang Xiangui (above), after they travelled to Zhejiang Province to provide legal representation to local Christians facing religious persecution under government orders to remove crosses from churches.On November 13, Liu’s lawyers Li Baiguang (李柏光) and Liu Peifu (刘培福) received word from the Wenzhou PSB that Liu had decided to fire them but were not allowed to meet with their client, in a similar pattern of other detainees in the crackdown mysteriously removing their family-appointed lawyers. He was released on December 11, 2015.
  • Henan activist Xu Zhihan (徐知汉was put under “residential surveillance” at his house in Zhengzhou on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” on July 24. Released on unknown date. Xu had initially been forcibly taken from Ji’nan, Shandong Province to his home province on July 11 and held in police custody until July 14 before being taken away again.
  • Lawyer Wang Qiushi (王秋), male, lawyer of detained lawyer Wang Quanzhang, was taken into custody on January 10, 2016 and later placed under “residential surveillance at designated location” after police summoned him twice for questioning. He was released on “bail pending further investigation” on February 1. He is reportedly banned from leaving Harbin.

Released following enforced disappearance:

  • Wang Fang (王芳), female, an accountant with the Fengrui Law Firm, was disappeared on her way to work on July 10,2015 and released on January 8, 2016, when many of her colleagues were placed under formal arrest.

List of Some Individuals Released after Questioning and Warning:

  1. Liu Xiaoyuan (刘晓原), senior partner at Fengrui Law Firm, Beijing Municipality; held for three days and was threatened with disbarment
  1.  Zhou Lixin (周立新), Guizhou-based lawyer with Fengrui Law Firm
  1. Zhang Weiyu (张维玉), lawyer, Shandong Province
  1. Jiang Tianyong (江天勇), debarred lawyer, Beijing Municipality
  1. Zhang Kai (张凯), lawyer, Beijing Municipality
  1. Wang Cheng (王成), lawyer, Beijing Municipality
  1. Sun Shihua (孙世华), lawyer, Guangdong Province; wife of detained lawyer Sui Muqing (see above)
  1. Liu Zhengqing (刘正清), lawyer, Guangdong Province
  1. Wang Quanping (王全平), lawyer, Guangdong Province
  1. Wu Kuiming (吴魁明), lawyer, Guangdong Province
  1. Cheng Shiquan (陈武权), lawyer, Guangdong Province
  1. Tan Yongpei (覃永沛), lawyer, Guangxi Autonomous Region
  1. Wang Haijun (王海军), lawyer, Hunan Province
  1. Guo Xiongwei (郭雄伟), lawyer, Hunan Province
  1. Yang Jinzhu (杨金柱), lawyer, Hunan Province
  1. Yang Xuan (杨璇), lawyer, Hunan Province
  1. Zhang Chongshi (张重实), lawyer, Hunan Province
  1. Shi Fulong (石伏龙), lawyer, Hunan Province
  1. Chen Nanshi (陈南石), lawyer, Hunan Province
  1. Zhang Xuezhong (张雪忠), lawyer, Shanghai Municipality
  1. Zhong Ying (钟颖), lawyer, Shanghai Municipality
  1. Liu Weiguo (刘卫国), lawyer, Shandong Province
  1. Fu Yonggang (付永刚), lawyer, Shandong Province
  1. Zeng Weichang (曾维昶), lawyer, Yunnan Province
  1. Liu Wenhua (刘文华), lawyer, Yunnan Province
  1. Zou Lihui (邹丽慧), lawyer, Fujian Province
  1. Ren Quanniu (任全牛), lawyer, Henan Province
  1. Meng Meng (孟猛), lawyer, Henan Province
  1. Ma Shunli (马连顺), lawyer, Henan Province
  1. Fu Jianbo (付剑波), lawyer, Chongqing Municipality
  1. He Wei (何伟), lawyer, Chongqing Municipality
  1. Li Dawei (李大伟), lawyer, Gansu Province
  1. Jiang Yongji 蒋永继), lawyer, Gansu Province
  1. Wang Qiushi (王秋实), lawyer, Heilongjiang Province
  1. Liu Lianhe (刘连贺), lawyer, Tianjin Municipality
  1. Wang Moqiong (王万琼), lawyer, Sichuan Province
  1. Yu Quan (于全), lawyer, Sichuan Province
  1. Zhang Lei (张磊), lawyer, Jiangsu Province
  1. Chang Boyang (常伯阳), lawyer, Henan Province
  1. Zhang Jiankang (张鉴康), lawyer, Shanxi Province
  1. Lu Fangzhi (), lawyer, Hunan Province
  1. Wen Donghai (文东海), lawyer, Hunan Province
  1. Xue Rongmin (薛荣民), lawyer, Shanghai Municipality
  1. Li Tiantian (李天天), lawyer, Shanghai Municipality
  1. Qin Lei (秦雷), lawyer, Shanghai Municipality
  1. Ji Laisong (姬来松), lawyer, Henan Province
  1. Li Shihui (刘士辉), lawyer, Shanghai Municipality
  1. Li Fangping (李方平), lawyer, Beijing Municipality. He was detained twice for questioning and on the second time he was interrogated for 14 hours.
  1. Ge Yongxi (葛永喜), lawyer, Guangdong Province
  1. Luo Qian (罗茜), lawyer, Hunan Province
  1. Li Jinxing (李金星), lawyer, Beijing; his law office, “Action to Redress Grievances Office” was searched
  1. Li Weida (李威达), lawyer, Hebei Province
  1. Ge Wenxiu (葛文秀), lawyer, Guangdong Province
  1. You Feizhu (游飞翥), lawyer, Chongqing Municipality
  1. Hu Linzheng (胡林政), lawyer, Hunan Province
  1. Shu Xiangxin (舒向新), lawyer, Shandong Province
  1. Xu Hongwei (徐红卫), lawyer, Shandong Province
  1. Wang Yuqin (王玉琴), lawyer, Shandong Province
  1. Xiong Dongmei (熊冬梅), lawyer, Shandong Province
  1. Liu Jinxiang (刘金湘), lawyer, Shandong Province
  1. Wang Xueming (王学明), lawyer, Shandong Province
  1. Xiong Wei (熊伟), lawyer, Shandong Province
  1. Zhang Hai (张海), lawyer, Shandong Province
  1. Feng Yanqiang (冯延强), lawyer, Shandong Province
  1. Liang Lanxin (梁澜馨), lawyer, Hebei Province
  1. Zhang Junjie (张俊杰), lawyer, Henan Province
  1. Chen Zongyao (陈宗瑶), lawyer, Zhejiang Province
  1. Yuan Yulai (袁裕来), lawyer, Zhejiang Province
  1. Lü Zhoubin (吕洲宾), lawyer, Zhejiang Province
  1. You Zhonghong (游忠洪), lawyer, Chongqing Municipality
  1. Zhang Tingyuan (张庭源), lawyer, Chongqing Municipality
  1. Lei Dengfeng (雷登峰), lawyer, Chongqing Municipality
  1. Huang Simin (黄思敏), lawyer, Hubei Province
  1. Zhang Yujuan (张玉娟), lawyer, Hunan Province
  1. Yang Mingkua (杨名跨), lawyer, Yunnan Province
  1. Wang Zongyue (王宗跃), lawyer, Guizhou province
  1. Li Yuhan (李昱函), lawyer, Liaoning Province
  1. Chen Jiangang (陈建刚), lawyer, Beijing Municipality
  1. Liu Shuqing (刘书庆), lawyer, Shandong Province
  1. Xu Guijuan (许桂娟), lawyer, Shandong Province
  1. Ma Wei (马卫), lawyer, Tianjin Municipality
  1. Zhuang Daohe (庄道鹤), lawyer, Guizhou Province
  1. Wang Liao (汪廖), lawyer, Zhejiang Province
  1. Li Guisheng (李贵生), lawyer, Guizhou Province
  1. Chen Keyun (陈科云), lawyer, Guangdong Province
  1. Cui Xiaoping (崔小平),lawyer, Guangdong Province
  1. Xu Dejun (徐德军), lawyer, Guangdong Province
  1. Zhu Jinhui (朱金辉), lawyer, Guangdong Province
  1. Pang Kun (庞琨), lawyer, Guangdong Province
  1. Wu Zhenqi (吴镇琦), lawyer, Guangdong Province
  1. Ran Tong (冉彤), lawyer, Sichuan Province
  1. Miao Jie (苗杰), lawyer, Henan Province
  1. Li Xiangyang (李向阳), lawyer, Shandong Province
  1. Bao Zhouxuan (包卓轩), teenage son of lawyers Wang Yu and Bao Longjun; questioned four times by police, passport confiscated and blocked from studying abroad, and told not to speak to lawyers. Held under house arrest beginning on July 18
  1. Lan Wuyou (蓝无忧), activist, Hunan Province
  1. You Yuping (游豫平), activist, Beijing Municipality
  1. Ou Biaofeng (欧彪峰), activist, Hunan Province
  1. Wang Fulei (王福磊 also known as the “Fisherman” 渔夫), activist, Guangdong Province
  1. Zuo Peizheng (左培生), staff member at Beijing Fengrui Law Firm
  1. Zhou Qing (周庆), Zhou Shifeng’s driver at Fengrui law firm
  1. Chen Ronggao (陈荣高), activist, Guangzhou
  1. Ni Yulan (倪玉兰), activist, Beijing Municipality
  1. Li Xiaoling (李晓玲), activist, Beijing Municipality
  1. Ding Hongfen (丁红芬), activist, Jiangsu Province
  1. Yao Qin (姚钦), activist, Jiangsu Province
  1. Li Fawang (李发旺), activist, Shanxi Province
  1. Wang Mingxian (王明贤), activist, Jiangsu Province
  1. Zheng Enchong (郑恩宠), lawyer, Shanghai Municipality
  1.  Gong Lei (巩), activist, Shandong Province
  1. Ren Naijun (任乃俊), activist, Shanghai Municipality
  1. Wei Deifeng (魏得丰), male, assistant to Hunan lawyer Xie Yang (see above)
  1. Guo Yuhao (郭宇豪  also known as Dai Shiqiao 戴仕桥), activist, Beijing Municipality

The numbers of those questioned and released will be updated periodically, but this page does not maintain a comprehensive list of names of those questioned and released within 24 hours. Please see this page for a full list of the public names of those questioned and released.

Related Documentation:

Update on 709 Crackdown Against Rights Lawyers – April 19, 2015

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