One Human Rights Lawyer Released; Another Detained
Human rights lawyer Li Fangping has returned home after disappearing Friday, while activists on Twitter are reporting that fellow rights lawyer Li Xiongping has since disappeared. From AP:
Li Fangping vanished Friday after leaving a meeting with a group that fights discrimination against people with hepatitis B. It was not known where he went, but his disappearance came as hundreds of people have been detained, confined at home, interrogated or simply vanished.
Li’s friend Lu Jun said Li contacted his wife Wednesday evening and asked her to pick him up in a north Beijing neighborhood.
The friend said Li said he wants to rest and does not wish to discuss the events of the past week.
Other lawyers and activists released in recent weeks have also declined to speak to the media, perhaps as a condition of their release and to avoid raising questions about their treatment while detained.
The AP report has more on Li Xiongbing as well:
Li’s release coincided with the disappearance of colleague Li Xiongbing, who called his wife Wu Haiying on Wednesday afternoon to say he would be away for a few days and not to be worried if she was unable to reach him during that time. The call was then cut off and Wu was unable to get subsequently get through.
“I am worried, because many of our friends have disappeared. Li Fangping’s wife also received a similar phone call during his disappearance. I think now it is (Li Xiongbing’s) turn,” Wu told The Associated Press in a phone interview.
Li Fangping was himself detained just as yet another rights lawyer, Teng Biao, was released from custody, in a move some called, “One In, One Out.”