Activists and sympathizers hold a vigil in 2008 for the victims of China’s human rights abuses.
Prominent human rights lawyer Li Fangping went missing Friday as Chinese authorities released fellow attorney Teng Biao after a two-month detainment.
Fangping is well known for his legal defense of Zhao Lianhai, who was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for “disturbing social order” after organizing support for parents of children poisoned by toxic milk. —ARK
Campaigners have warned that Chinese human rights lawyers remain under intense pressure, following the disappearance of another high-profile legal figure.
Li Fangping went missing on Friday after ringing his wife to say state security agents were waiting for him – just as lawyer Teng Biao returned home after a two-month disappearance. The US had singled out Teng’s treatment and that of other missing lawyers in human rights talks the previous day. “The Chinese authorities are resorting to an old trick, the revolving-door approach – one in, one out – to create the impression that things are improving,” said Renee Xia of the Chinese Human Rights’ Defenders network.
... Li’s wife told the South China Morning Post: “I believe [it] is related to his work. He has offended many people while helping the disadvantaged. I am not sure if state security officers are really the ones who have taken him away, or whether some gangsters are behind it.”