China: Li Heping, Attorney for Ilham Tohti, Suffering Medical Complications

March 3, 2017

It has been communicated to CCS that Li Heping, human rights attorney for Ilham Tohti, now serving time himself for human rights work, allegedly has been tortured and is suffering from medical complications as a result. Additionally, Li is also in need of adequate legal counsel.

CCS has requested that he receive appropriate medical care and legal representation of his choosing.

February 7, 2017

President Xi Jinping
The State Council General’s Office
Fuyoujie, Xichengqu
Beijingshi 100017
People’s Republic of China

Your Excellency:

The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.

We write today to renew our concerns for human rights attorney Li Heping, who disappeared on July 10, 2015. On January 8, 2016, he was charged with “subverting state power” but his only crime seems to be his defense of scholars who voiced peaceful protests against unlawful practices.

We are gravely concerned about recent reports that Li Heping and other detained lawyers have been tortured. We are also deeply troubled by reports that his health has deteriorated significantly.

We expect that China, a global leader who values scientific and academic collaborations, respects the rule of law, and human rights and treaty obligations. Detention of Mr. Li, the denial of adequate legal counsel, and the reported use of torture represent serious violations of the rule of law.

We strongly urge you to release Li Heping immediately and unconditionally. While still in detention, Li Heping should be allowed legal representation of his choice, and the alleged use of torture should be thoroughly investigated.

Thank you for addressing our concerns. We look forward to receiving your response.


Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich,
Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer

Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists


Ambassador Cui Tiankai
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
3505 International Place, NW
Washington, DC 20008


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