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19 Dec 2017

I didn't see sunlight for six months

Last week we republished extracts from Lawyer Xie Yanyi’s ((谢燕益) record of secret detention under China’s Residential Surveillance at a Designated Location (RSDL) and originally translated by China Change. This week, we are staying with Lawyer Xie and posting a link to a rare interview to camera he gave to a BBC journalist in Beijing earlier this year.   Xie was eventually released in January 2017, months later Chinese security still keep Xie’s apartment under surveillance. The BBC had to sneak in the back way.  Of the many 709 lawyers who were persecuted in 2015 and in the years afterward, Lawyer Xie, a softly-spoken father of two young children, is one of the very few who continue to speak out.   Watch his BBC interview here.  


About Xie Yanyi

Xie Yanyi (谢燕益) is a prominent and outspoken human rights lawyer based in Beijing. He gained notoriety in 2003 when he attempted to sue former Chinese President Jiang Zemin for staying on as Central Military Commission Chairman after he stepped down from power. He has also represented rights activists and villagers battling illegal land seizures and has published articles supporting freedom of speech and democracy for China. Xie was disappeared along with hundreds of other lawyers and activists in the “709 Crackdown” in the summer of 2015 and placed under RSDL and was beaten, starved, tortured and forced to take “medicine”. He was incarcerated for 553 days, during which time his wife gave birth to their baby daughter and his mother died.