National Security

Human Rights Lawyers Abducted in China

Communist Party continues crackdown

Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping / AP

A Chinese human rights lawyer was reportedly abducted on Friday just a day after another lawyer went missing, the latest evidence of a widening crackdown by Beijing, according to the website ChinaChange.org.

China Change reports that lawyer Zhou Shifeng was kidnapped:

At 7:30 am, Wang Lin heard a hotel attendant knock on the door to Zhou Shifeng’s room. Afterwards, Wang Lin heard Zhou Shifeng shout her name. Wang Lin opened the door and saw Zhou Shifeng, hooded, was forcibly taken away by three men.

According to Liu Xiaoyuan, "At 7:41 am, after I obtained [the above] news, I immediately dialed Director Zhou’s telephone. At that time I could still get through to his phone but no one answered. I am now calling his phone but it is turned off."

Zhou had reportedly pledged to establish a support fund for persecuted rights lawyers in China and their families.

Another lawyer, Wang Yu, could not be reached on Thursday. Her last text, sent in the early morning hours, said that she could "hear people forcing the door and talking outside. I called my husband and son but the calls did not go through."

More than 100 of her colleagues issued a statement urging authorities to release information about her whereabouts:

Wang Yu’s work is consistently open and aboveboard, honest and frank. If the police suspect she has broken the law, the police can openly and honestly summon and investigate her according to the law, and Wang Yu will definitely cooperate.

We strongly condemn the relevant departments for cutting off the electricity and the Internet in the middle of the night and using force to enter Wang Yu’s residence and arrest her. This is an appalling behavior that seriously violates the proper procedures for handling cases and it is a serious departure from the rule of law.

Xi Jinping, China’s president and leader of the Communist Party, has led a campaign of repression against human rights lawyers and the dissidents and citizens that they represent.