By: Irene Luo, Epoch Times on May 18, 2017
After nearly two years behind bars, Li Heping, a prominent Chinese human rights lawyer,
was released from prison last week.
Both his friends and his wife said he was barely recognizable—once robust and healthy, he is now thin and emaciated, his hair turned white, a radical transformation for someone only in his mid-forties.
On July 9, 2015, he was taken away by Tianjin public security officers and sentenced with “subversion of state power.” His arrest was part of a nationwide crackdown in 2015—known colloquially as the “709 Incident”—which targeted over 250 human rights lawyers
After two years of painstaking advocacy on his behalf, Wang Qiaoling, Li’s wife, was finally able to secure his release. Li was given a four-year suspended sentence, which means he still cannot practice law as before.
Representing the Vulnerable
Li Heping garnered prominence for defending political dissidents and vulnerable groups in China, including underground Christians, victims of forced evictions, as well as practitioners of the persecuted Falun Gong spiritual practice.
He also sought to appeal on behalf of blind activist Chen Guangcheng and fellow rights attorney Gao Zhisheng. In 2006, he defended environmental activist Tan Kai, founder of the environmental group “Green Watch.” [FULL STORY]