My husband Chang Weiping (常玮平) is a Chinese human rights lawyer, who has represented clients in cases related to religious freedom, forced demolition and discrimination (HIV, gender and LGBT issues). In January 2020, he was placed under Residential Surveillance at a Designated Location (RSDL) by Shaanxi police for 10 days for attending the Xiamen Meeting, [an informal gathering of some twenty activists and lawyers in early December 2019]. He was subjected to severe torture before being released on bail. On October 22, 2020, he was again detained in RSDL for ‘allegedly inciting subversion of state power’.
The Spring Festival of 2021 is fast approaching. Chang Weiping has been held in RSDL for 112 days this second time around. The Shaanxi police has been investigating his case for one year and 20 days.
I think it is necessary to make a record of everything he and his family have been through in the past year. Although our lives are as insignificant as ants, we will NOT stop exposing the truth.
I. Disaster strikes after a meeting
It was around December 27, 2019, when Weiping called me out of the blue. He said anxiously that some of his friends had been arrested for attending a meeting in Xiamen and that he, who also attended the meeting, had to go into hiding. He said he had sent me all his bank cards. He told me to take care of myself and our family and hung up after saying “love you.” After about ten days of hiding, he called me saying that it seemed to be safe and since he had not done anything, perhaps he should come out from hiding. I told him to wait a little longer. Little did I know that just two days later, on January 12, 2020, he would be also taken into custody. The nightmare began.
On the morning of January 14, 2020, someone from Gaoxin Branch of Baoji Public Security Bureau (陕西省宝鸡市公安局高新分局) called me and informed me that Chang Weiping had been placed under RSDL on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power.”