Chinese Rights Activist Reported Missing


The family of a leading democracy activist in central China fear he has been detained by the authorities for helping voters, his wife has told the Guardian.

Yao Lifa, a teacher and rights campaigner in Hubei province, vanished on his way to work on several days ago. He was one of China’s first independent candidates in local elections in the 1980s and his wife, Feng Ling, said she believed he might have been held because he had been helping people to understand their voting rights ahead of this month’s contest for the Qianjiang municipal people’s congress.

Voters can directly elect village leaders and representatives in local party congresses, but the vast majority of candidates are Communist party members and almost all have the backing of the authorities. Although the bodies have limited powers, experts suggest the elections have provided some say for ordinary citizens and tempered some abuses by officials as well as offering an experiment in democracy.


Subscribe to CDT


Browsers Unbounded by Lantern

Now, you can combat internet censorship in a new way: by toggling the switch below while browsing China Digital Times, you can provide a secure "bridge" for people who want to freely access information. This open-source project is powered by Lantern, know more about this project.

Google Ads 1

Giving Assistant

Google Ads 2

Anti-censorship Tools

Life Without Walls

Click on the image to download Firefly for circumvention

Open popup

Welcome back!

CDT is a non-profit media site, and we need your support. Your contribution will help us provide more translations, breaking news, and other content you love.