Meet China’s Other Dissidents: Wang Lihong
At New Matilda, The Beijinger’s Dan Edwards highlights the continuing detention of activist Wang Lihong:
Although the high profile Chinese artist Ai Weiwei finally resurfaced after more than 11 weeks in detention on 21 June, many lesser known figures are still languishing in Chinese jails following a round up of activists earlier this year. Wang Lihong is a case in point — and an example of how injustice begets injustice in China’s dysfunctional legal system.
Wang Lihong has a long history of activism, including work on behalf of petitioners who have suffered violence at the hands of the authorities and campaigns for Chinese lawyers targeted because of their advocacy work. Like Ai Weiwei, Wang was rounded up in the weeks following anonymous online posts calling for a “Jasmine Revolution” in China earlier this year. She has now been in detention for 17 weeks. On 21 March she was charged with “inciting social unrest,” but on 22 April this charge was reduced to “disturbing public transportation in a crowd.”
Oiwan Lam recently posted details of Wang’s career and the campaign to release her at Global Voices Online, including a partial list of the causes with which she has been involved since 2008:
1. The police murder case of Yang Jia on July 1 2008. She visited Yang Jia’s mother and interviewed her and blogged about Yang Jia’s case.
2. Together with another blogger, Temple Tiger, she helped the homeless people around Tienanmen square.
3. The Deng Yujiao self defense murder case in May 2009. Wang Lihong travelled to Hubei to join the “surrounding gaze” flash mob in order to pressure the court for an open and fair ruling on Deng’s case.
4. On May 2009, Wang campaigned for a visit to petitioner, Yao Jing, who was seriously injured by local government officials from Linyi who tried to intercept her petition in Beijing. Together with a group of bloggers, Wang raised donation for Yao Jing’s hospital and lawyer expenses.
5. Campaigned for human rights lawyer Ni Yulan, who was prosecuted by Beijing authority soon after she was released from jail.
6. Participated in the “surrounding gaze” flash mob action in support of the three Fujian netizens who was accused by local authorities for defamation in their citizen reports about a suspected rape case in March and April 2010.
7. Celebrated the Nobel Prize award to Liu Xiaobo in October 2010. She was detained for two weeks and was under house arrest for several months.
8. In March 2011, she visited two activists in a Henan detention center, Wang Yi who was sentenced to one year labour education for writing a tweet and Tian Xi, an AIDS activist.