On the occasion of the sixth anniversary of the 709 Crackdown, Human Rights in China (HRIC) honors Chinese women rights defenders by highlighting the activism of nine notable women who have been steadfast in fighting against suppression by the authorities.
Some of these women are lawyers and legal advocates who have chosen the difficult path of rights defense on their own. They have suffered harassment, surveillance, torture, and imprisonment, yet they did not retreat and have persevered in the pursuit of fairness and justice.
Others are family members of lawyers and legal advocates targeted by the authorities. These women have their own successful careers and ideals but have been compelled to take up rights defense—as they, too, became the targets of suppression—in order to protect their own freedom and that of their family members.
Faced with sudden and dramatic changes in their lives, including harassment, intimidation, and threats from the authorities, these women have experienced hesitation, grievances, fear, and self-doubt, but they have never given up. As they continue to pursue their own careers and care for their families, they also advocate for the freedom of their loved ones, showing unusual strength in their resistance and great resilience. HRIC pays tribute to them and urges the Chinese authorities to stop persecuting them and their families.
In alphabetical order by pinyin.
Human rights defenders play a critical role in ensuring peaceful exercise of rights and promoting an independent civil society. As China’s civil society faces increasingly steep restrictions, human rights defenders have become the targets of draconian and comprehensive crackdowns. For their efforts, many human rights defenders have lost their jobs, family members, and personal freedom; many suffer mistreatment and torture in prison.
In these dark times for so many of them, HRIC honors their work, their spirit of dedication, and the great price they continue to pay in promoting the progress of civil society. Please take a moment to send messages to the imprisoned and detained rights defenders—to show your concern, solidarity, and support.