March 8, 2018
On 1 March 2018, detained human rights lawyer Li Yuhan (李昱函) confirmed that she had been on hunger strike for one week, in protest against her treatment by the Chinese judicial system.
Li Yuhan is a Beijing-based human rights lawyer and advocate for victims of human rights violations, known to many in China’s human rights community as “big sister”. She has represented clients in numerous sensitive cases on freedom of belief and access to government information. In 2015, Li Yuhan acted as defence counsel for fellow lawyer Wang Yu, one of the central victims of China’s “709” crackdown on human rights lawyers.
Li Yuhan was arrested on 9 October 2017 and on 31 October 2017, her family learned that she had been placed under criminal detention in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles”.
On 28 February 2017, Li Yuhan’s son informed the human rights community that he heard that his mother had initiated a hunger strike. Li Yuhan’s communication with family and legal counsel is extremely limited, and her son only received this information via the lawyer of one of Li Yuhan’s cellmates.
On 1 March 2017, Li Yuhan’s lawyer, Ma Wei, traveled to the Shenyang City detention centre where Li Yuhan is being held. In a meeting with his client, Ma Wei learned that Li Yuhan had stopped accepting food from 24 February. Li Yuhan informed her lawyer that she is protesting her prolonged detention and her detention officer’s delayed delivery of necessary medication.