China Change »An Update on the Case of Human Rights Lawyer Chang Weiping


An update on the case of human rights lawyer Chang Weiping

Chen Zijuan, September 19, 2021

Born in 1984, Chang Weiping was an outstanding member of the younger generation of human rights lawyers in China. From 2014, he has represented human rights defenders in the areas of freedom of expression, expression of political dissent, religious freedom, anti-discrimination in the workplace and more. Again. For example, he represented Li Wei, a New Citizen Movement activist accused of “gathering a crowd to disrupt public order” for publicly calling on officials to disclose their assets; petitioners in Wuxi accused of “choice quarrels”; dissident Wang Jian in Nanjing; and a number of Falun Gong practitioners. Her portrayal of gender discrimination and employment discrimination over the years stands out among lawyers, and her clients included a female chef in Guangdong and an HIV carrier in Guizhou who were denied a chance. employment due to discriminatory policies. Chang Weiping supports gender equality in his work and has participated in the Chinese “MeToo” movement, supporting victims of sexual harassment in their efforts to fight back. He has also been active in providing legal services to the LGBT community. The cases he represented and the related legal advocacy are deemed sensitive by Chinese authorities and, as a result, Chang Weiping has been targeted.

In October 2018, his practice was suspended for three months by the Baoji Justice Bureau in Shaanxi Province, and the following month, the law firm where he was employed was dissolved. After the three-month suspension, he sought to enter into a contract with other law firms, but each attempt was hampered by authorities and stopped. As of January 2019, he was unable to practice.

In December 2019, he participated in an informal meeting of lawyers and human rights citizens in Xiamen, Fujian Province. On January 12, 2020, he was taken into custody by Baoji police and placed under “Residential Surveillance at a Designated Location” (RSDL) for “undermining national security”. Ten days later, he was released on bail pending trial. After months of restriction of movement and regular police harassment, in October 2020, he made public the torture he suffered during the RSDL in January in a video posted on YouTube. For 10 full days, 24 hours a day, he was locked in a metal interrogation chair in a hotel room, resulting in loss of sensation in his index and ring fingers.

Lawyer Chang Weiping’s account of being locked in an interrogation chair for 10 consecutive days, 24 hours a day, in January 2020.

Five days after posting this video, on October 22, 2020, Chang Weiping was again detained and placed under RSDL guardianship, this time for allegedly “inciting the subversion of state power.” On April 7, 2021, he was formally arrested for allegedly “overthrowing state power”. During this period, Chang Weiping’s attorneys repeatedly requested to meet with him, and they also filed bail requests, but all of their requests were rejected.

On September 6, 2021, the police submitted Chang Weiping’s case to the Baoji Municipal People’s Procuratorate for “subversion.”

On September 14, eleven months after Chang Weiping’s detention, his defense attorneys were finally allowed to see him for the first time. Chang Weiping told his lawyers that during the 5-month RSDL he was tortured again: and his fingers completely lost all feeling. He was subjected to lengthy interrogations, deprived of sleep, and received mental torments and threats. He was given a mantou (white Chinese bread) for every meal and only received enough food if he cooperated during the interrogation. He told lawyers that the 40 interrogation transcripts had been prepared in advance. He was not allowed to shower without permission from the head of the public security bureau. He did not take more than 5 showers for more than 5 months, and not once was he allowed to cut his nails.

He told his lawyers that the purpose of the torture was to trample on his dignity and make him as obedient as a dog. For him, with the passing of each day, it is a victory while he is still alive and sane. He said, what holds him together is the desire to get out of prison alive to see his wife and child

It has been almost 11 months since his detention, and his health has taken a hit. His stool contains blood and his mouth is often ulcerated from a lack of vegetables and fruits. Prior to his detention, he had a tooth pulled out and needed to have it plugged, but the police would not let him, resulting in overgrowth of the opposite tooth and difficulty chewing. I have called the detention center several times, but they still refuse to take Chang Weiping to the hospital. Recently, the detention center completely stopped responding to my calls.

According to the laws in China, once a case is transferred to the procuratorate, defense lawyers can review the case file and the rights of that lawyer cannot be dismissed without special reasons. But from September 13 to 15, Chang Weiping’s defense attorneys repeatedly went to the prosecutor’s office to request a review of the case, but were dismissed each time by staff who said “the case was locked in a cupboard and we can’t take it out. “This is absurd and is not a legitimate reason for denying lawyers the right to review the case file. I wonder what the secrets of the case are which must be hidden from Chang Weiping’s defense attorneys.

I believe that the public security personnel in Shaanxi Province who tortured Chang Weiping are human rights abusers and should be punished by the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.

Dr Chen Zijuan is the wife of Chang Weiping and a microbiologist working in Shenzhen.


Open letter to the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China and Minister Zhao Kezhi, Chen Zijuan, August 3, 2021.

“He Committed Ideological Crimes”: Woman Recounts How Chinese Police Crackle Family, Prevent Speaking Out and Threaten Work After Human Rights Lawyer Chang Weiping, Chen Zijuan Detained, February 15, 2021 .

Faucher, Yaxue Cao, December 22, 2020.


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