Subscribe to our email newsletter to get summary and breaking news in your inbox.

Inside China: Lawyer who Defended Falun Gong in Critical Condition

Prison term arbitrarily extended for Guangdong human rights attorney

NEW YORK -- A lawyer in southern China has been arbitrarily transferred to a brainwashing facility after serving a two-year prison term and is now believed to be in critical condition.

Starting in 2005, Zhu Yubiao (朱宇飙) was one of the first lawyers in China to defend practitioners of Falun Gong. In July 2011, he was sentenced to two years in prison after blatantly unfair proceedings and Communist Party pressure on the presiding judge. Zhu was punished for his legal work and possession of Falun Gong-related materials in his home (report). According to Front Line Defenders, his sentence ended August 17, 2012, but he was immediately transferred to a brainwashing center known to target Falun Gong practitioners. 

Human rights attorney Zhu Yubiao from Guangzhou is in danger after being sent to a brainwashing facility after his prison term

Human rights attorney Zhu Yubiao from Guangzhou is in danger after being sent to a brainwashing facility after his prison term

Zhu is protesting his ongoing detention with a hunger strike. Staff at the brainwashing facility, Guangdong Law Education Center  (广东省法制教育所) in Guangzhou’s Sanshui District, regularly force-feed him.  He now suffers from dangerously high blood pressure, according to family members. 

“Zhu’s story is an all too typical example of how the Communist Party completely disregards China’s own laws and basic human dignity in its relentless effort to wipe out Falun Gong and those who seek to defend practitioners’ innocence,” says Levi Browde, Executive Director of the Falun Dafa Information Center.

“Behind the façade of a ‘legal education’ center in one of China’s most modern cities lies an Orwellian reality of brutal psychological abuse, torture, and killing.”

Zhu’s 76-year-old father, a retired physics professor at Sun Yat-Sen Univerity, attempted to collect his son from Beijiang Prison in Guangdong Province on the day his term expired, arguing that it was illegal to further hold him in custody. Authorities stated that the matter was internal, however, and that they need not provide any explanation. 

Zhu is known for his skillful pro bono work for the disadvantaged, as reported twice in a local newspaper in Guangzhou City. After defending Falun Gong practitioners in court, Zhu became a practitioner himself.  Shortly after taking the cases of three Falun Gong practitioners in 2005 and 2006, Zhu was arbitrarily sent to a labor camp for one year, where criminal inmates regularly beat him and deprived him of sleep. Upon his release in April 2008, authorities revoked his license to practice law because he refused to stop defending Falun Gong practitioners, according to Front Line Defenders.  

Over the past decade, numerous Falun Gong practitioners have died due to abuse at the Guangdong Law Education Center, a euphemism for Guangdong Province’s largest, and perhaps deadliest, brainwashing facility. A 48-year-old entrepreneur, Ms. Wu Xuemei, is the latest known casualty. She died in March 2012, after four months of illegal detention there. 

The Falun Dafa Information Center urges foreign diplomats stationed in China to demand the unconditional release of Mr. Zhu Yubiao and all Falun Gong practitioners held at the Guangdong Law Education Center. The Center encourages others to use the text provided by Frontline Defenders to write letters to the Chinese authorities calling for Zhu’s release.

Additional Information:
Frontline Defenders, November 2012: “Ongoing detention of human rights defender Mr Zhu Yubiao eleven weeks after due release date“
Falun Dafa Information Center, August 2011: “Guangdong lawyer gets two-year prison sentence for defending Falun Gong“ 
Radio Free Asia, July 2011