Detention of Chinese human rights lawyer

Who we wrote to

The Chinese premier, Li Keqiang.

What’s the issue

We’re concerned about the detention of the human rights lawyer Li Yuhan, who has been arrested for allegedly “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”.

Her arrest may be related to her human rights work and for being one of two lawyers representing the human rights lawyer Wang Yu. Wang Yu was among approximately 250 lawyers and activists detained or questioned during the crackdown in July 2015.

Prior to her arrest, 60-year old Li Yuhan had been disappeared since 9 October 2017. She’d been handcuffed, forced into a vehicle, and taken to Shenyang City Heping District Beishi Police Station.

Here she was allegedly violently dragged through several rooms for around 20 minutes, causing bruising and distress. She was allegedly taken to a hospital and then transferred to Shenyang City No.1 Detention Centre, where she was held in solitary confinement for a month.

On 31 October 2017, her family were told where she was being held, and she was finally allowed a visit by her lawyer on 10 November 2017.

She remains in Shenyang City No.1 Detention Centre and has allegedly suffered physical abuse there. We believe that she may be at risk of further ill-treatment.

What we asked for

We urged the relevant authorities:

  • to release Li Yuhan unconditionally and immediately, unless there is sufficient evidence to hold her in detention in accordance with international standards on the deprivation of liberty and fair trial guarantees
  • until such release takes place, to comply with international standards regarding conditions of detention, including the prohibition on torture or ill-treatment, regular and unrestricted access to her family and legal representatives of her own choosing, as well as medical care
  • to carry out an effective and fair investigation into the allegations of her random arrest, disappearance, and physical abuse against Li Yuhan and bring those responsible to justice


9 October 2017 – Li Yuhan disappeared after being taken to Shenyang City Heping District Beishi Police Station

31 October 2017 – Li Yuhan's family told where she was being detained

10 November 2017 – Li Yuhan allowed to see a lawyer

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