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Li Heping

Lawyer China
Assaulted

Support Li Heping

Defended causes :

Advocating for: rights of religious minorities – including, among others, Christians and Falun Gong practitioners – political prisoners, rights of foreigners, dissident authors, victims of forced évictions.

An eminent human rights lawyer, Li Heping began his career as a civil law attorney in the late 1990s in the firm Global Law Firm in Beijing. He is particularly known for his criticisms of the Communist Party’s practices towards religious minorities, agreeing to deal with so-called “sensitive” cases concerning victims of expropriation and political dissidents persecuted by the Chinese regime.

He defended several lawyers of the “Weiquan” movement, comprised of several attorneys advocating for the defense of human rights, including in labor law, for victims of torture and foreigner’s rights, such as Chen Guangcheng and Gao Zhisheng. He also defended the dissident Yang Zili and Tai Kai, an activist for environmental protection. [...]

He is a member of the editorial comity of the Chinese newspaper untitled “Law and Religion Monitor”, run by the association “China Aid”.

Li Heping has long been the subject of intimidations and persecutions because of his work in favor of fundamental rights and the rule of law. On September 29th, 2007, in his office’s parking lot, he was assaulted and a kidnapped by a dozen men in civilian clothes who beat him and released him six days later, after threatening him of further acts of violence if he didn’t leave the capital.

While traveling to Brussels to receive the 2008 CCBE Human Rights Award and then to Paris to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Right on December 6th, Li Heping was prevented from leaving China, even though he possessed a visa for Belgium and France.

In a massive operation led by the police on July 9th, 2015 against human rights activists, Li Heping’s house and office were searched by the police without a warrant, and hard drives and computers were confiscated. He was arrested on July 10th, 2015 and detained for six months before being officially charged on January 8th, 2016, for “subversion of State power”. His assistant, Zhao Wei, was also arrested and charged on the same accounts.

On December 5, 2016, the Tianjin police forwarded the case to the local People’s Procuratorate, paving the way for a future trial.

He was tortured during the six months of his detention, notably by electroshocks so powerful it made him lose consciousness.

Detained for 563 days now, he still does not have access to a lawyer and his health condition is unknown.

International mobilization:

The French Foreign Affairs Minister, through a joint statement by Jean-Marc Ayrault and Franck-Walter Steinmeier, launched a call for his liberation on December 1st, 2016: (http://www.consulfrance-hongkong.org/Appel-a-la-liberation-de-l-avocat-Li-Heping-Declaration-conjointe-de-Jean-Marc)

In addition, the Franco-German Human Rights prize was awarded to his wife, Mrs Wang Oialoling, for her tireless dedication to carrying the voices of the families of the lawyers and activists detained in China: (http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/dossiers-pays/allemagne/la-france-et-l-allemagne/prix-franco-allemand-des-droits-de-l-homme-et-de-l-etat-de-droit/article/tribune-conjointe-de-jean-marc-ayrault-et-frank-walter-steinmeier-01-12-16)

In 2008, he received the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) Human Rights Award (https://www.rtbf.be/info/monde/detail_l-avocat-chinois-li-heping-honore-par-ses-pairs-europeens?id=5250233)

Letter co-signed by Dominique Attias, vice-dean of the Bar Association of Paris, in support of Chinese lawyers (http://www.avocatparis.org/la-repression-des-avocats-chinois-doit-cesser)