A human rights lawyer in Chinese custody since 2017 has received an award jointly presented by Germany and France to recognize her efforts in advancing human rights and the rule of law in China.
Li Yuhan, 64, was honored in absentia with the annual Franco-German Prize for Human Rights, as one of 15 winners of the 2020 awards, Radio Free Asia reported.
Another Chinese rights lawyer, Wang Yu, accepted the award on her behalf at a ceremony on Dec. 10, Human Rights Day. Yu said that Li was well-deserving of the recognition, having handled a number of cases related to human rights and assisted with much legal work for underprivileged groups and dissidents.
For her endeavors, Li paid the price and lost her freedom, Wang said.
Li is a human rights lawyer in Beijing. She used to work on sensitive cases such as issues related to the freedom of religion and free access to government information.
She was Wang’s defense lawyer after the latter was arrested during China’s “709 crackdown” that detained 300 human rights lawyers from July 9, 2015. Li also sought to help other arrested attorneys and their families.
The Chinese authorities arrested Li in 2017. It was not until two years later that they charged her for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” and for fraud. According to LI’s defense lawyer, officials had been keeping up pressure on her to admit to the alleged crimes, but she insisted on her innocence, hence there is still no verdict to date while she remains in detention.