February 29, 2016
(Activists from Amnesty International Thailand hold banners with pictures of human right activists and lawyers who are now in prison. August 6, 2015 [Chaiwat Subprasom/Reuters])
When Li Meng first told her father, a prosecutor and Communist party member in Guizhou province, that she wanted to study human rights law, he wasn’t pleased.
“He could not understand at the very beginning why I chose to do human rights – a thing that is very sensitive, and cannot earn money,” the 24-year-old explained.
But gradually, after she began her master’s degree, specialising in human rights, at Renmin University in Beijing, his opposition eased. She recently returned from a six-month internship at the European Court of Human Rights in France.
In many ways, her father was right to be concerned. From the thousands of students graduating from China’s law schools each year, only a few go on to practise human rights law.