Chinese language Rights Lawyer Yu Wensheng Bestowed Swedish Human Rights Award

Chinese language rights lawyer Yu Wensheng was awarded a human rights prize by the Stockholm-based Basis of Anna Dahlbäck Memorial Fund on Sept. 9.

Yu, who’s primarily based in Beijing, was unable to attend the Stockholm awards ceremony and he had another person obtain the award on his behalf.

For his work as a human rights lawyer, Yu had lengthy been focused by China’s communist authorities. Earlier this 12 months he was launched after a number of years in jail for his rights work.

The award acknowledges Yu’s work on human rights and his “nice dedication and ethical braveness,” the muse stated within the award announcement.

Chinese language Rights Lawyer Yu Wensheng Bestowed Swedish Human Rights Award
The Basis of Anna Dahlbäck Memorial Fund’s assertion of the 2022 prize. (Screenshot by way of The Epoch Instances)

Yu instructed The Epoch Instances on Sept. 13, that the award belongs to all human rights defenders.

He emphasised that Chinese language individuals particularly want civic braveness, however to begin with, they want civic consciousness.

“The servile pondering within the Chinese language thoughts is an excessive amount of, and a few individuals must stroll within the entrance to steer the Chinese language individuals to attain freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of regulation,” Yu stated.

“Human rights attorneys and human rights defenders are those who’re main the way in which,” he stated.

Yu stated over the previous ten years, dozens of human rights attorneys have been arrested by the communist regime, including that the rule of regulation and human rights in China has severely regressed.

“On the similar time, we’ve got additionally seen that the relations of human rights attorneys aren’t afraid of tyranny and firmly defend their rights. Right here I’m very grateful to my spouse Xu Yan. She is just not solely the spouse of a human rights lawyer but in addition a staunch human rights defender,” he stated.

Epoch Times Photo
Xu Yan, spouse of human rights lawyer Yu Wenshengon on Oct. 30, 2019, in entrance of the Xuzhou Metropolis Detention Centre the place her husband was being held. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP by way of Getty Pictures)

Yu added that human rights attorneys in China are nonetheless struggling and known as for extra consideration to be made on their scenario and that of their households.

In a press release from February when her husband was nonetheless imprisoned rights group Amnesty Worldwide stated that Xu had been underneath fixed surveillance and repeatedly confronted harassment by the Chinese language authorities—having been summoned, detained, and sometimes banned from leaving her home.


As a widely known human proper lawyer in Beijing, Yu has been persecuted by the Chinese language regime for years.

On Oct. 13, 2014, he was arrested by the Daxing Department of the Beijing Public Safety Bureau for supporting the “Hong Kong Occupy Central” democratic protest. He was detained for 99 days, throughout which he was tortured and fell ailing.

On Aug. 6, 2015, Yu was arrested for his connections with lots of of Chinese language rights attorneys who have been arrested by the regime on July 9 that 12 months. He was launched 24 hours later. He later grew to become the lawyer for one of many arrested attorneys Wang Quanzhang however in August 2016, his authorized standing as Wang’s lawyer was stripped by the regime.

In 2016, he represented many Falun Gong practitioners—persecuted by the communist regime since 1999—and defended them in courts. “Previously ten years, by the protection, it has not solely been made clear their actions are authorized and they’re harmless, but in addition made clear that the suppression of Falun Gong beliefs is against the law,” Yu stated then. “Sure. The function every of us performs in it requires cautious consideration.”

In January 2018, his lawyer’s license was revoked by the authorities, and he was arrested by the regime for advocating constitutional reform.

He was charged with “inciting subversion of the state” in April 2018 and sentenced to 4 years in jail. In jail, Yu was severely tortured and bodily mutilated. He was launched on March 1 this 12 months.

Epoch Times Photo
Chinese language lawyer Yu Wensheng in Beijing, China, on Jan. 12, 2017. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Pictures)

Worldwide Help

For his human rights activism, Yu has gained worldwide help.

In January 2019, he was awarded the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Legislation, whereas in February 2021, he was awarded the Martin Ennals annual prize for Human Rights Defenders.

Yu’s award from the Basis of Anna Dahlbäck Memorial Fund is supported and took part by Amnesty Worldwide, the Swedish NGO Diakonia, the United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Refugees, the Crimson Cross, the Swedish Bar Affiliation, amongst different organizations and establishments.

Ning Haizhong and Hong Ning contributed to the report.

Alex Wu


Alex Wu is a U.S.-based author for The Epoch Instances specializing in Chinese language society, Chinese language tradition, human rights, and worldwide relations.

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