Housing activist Ni Yulan released in China
Housing rights activist Ni Yulan was released on October 5th, after serving two years and six months in Tiantanghe Women's Prison in Beijing. She has been reunited with her family, including her husband Dong Jiqin, who was released from prison on April 5th.
Thank you to more than 10,000 Canadians, and Amnesty International supporters worldwide who spoke out to press for her freedom.
This news is especially welcome following the very harsh treatment Ni Yulan has experienced at the hands of Chinese authorities.
Ni Yulan's story
Ni Yulan has defended people who have been forcibly evicted from their homes by housing developers across China esepcially in the leadup to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, when there was massive urban re-development and forced evictions.
She herself was also evicted, and watched her home get demolished shortly before the Beijing Olympic Games, when there was massive development and forced evictions.
Ni Yulan practised law for 18 years—but because of her human rights work, her licence to practice law has been revoked.
Both Ni Yulan and Dong Jiqin were detained on April 7 2011 on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”. They were formally arrested on the same charge on 17 May 17, 2011. The charge of “fraud” was later added in the case of Ni Yulan. Both were subsequently sentenced in a trial that did not meet international fair trial standards.
In 2002, the police beat Ni Yulan so badly that they left her unable to walk unaided. Her health had been improving when she was detained in April 2011, as she had been receiving regular medical treatment and was able to walk with crutches. She received no medical attention in prison. She now needs to use a wheelchair and also suffers from respiratory, heart and digestive problems.
Thank you to so many Amnesty International supporters around the world who have spoken out to defend the human rights of Ni Yulan!