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Kwon Pyong


Kwon Pyong, a 29 year-old native of China’s Jilin Province, completed his undergraduate studies in the United States and has maintained an active presence on Facebook and Twitter since his return to China in 2012. He has actively campaigned for detained lawyers and other human rights defenders targeted in China’s 2015 “709” crackdown, and has been involved in solidarity actions for a number of jailed human rights lawyers. He has spoken out against the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre and the more recent persecution of dispossessed residents of China’s Wukan village. In 2014, Kwon Pyong travelled to Hong Kong to participate in the “Occupy Hong Kong” movement calling for open democratic elections in the region.

Human rights defenders in China work in an extremely hostile environment and under President Xi Jinping they have seen the space in which to operate further restricted. Chinese HRDs are active in many spheres, and they include lawyers, journalists, academics, transparency campaigners, housing and land rights activists, bloggers, writers, HIV/AIDS activists and those promoting the rights of ethnic minorities. Regardless of the issues they work on, HRDs who highlight abuses, challenge the authorities or network to support detained colleagues all face reprisals from the government. These range from almost daily harassment and intimidation of family members to detentions, disappearances, torture and imprisonment.