Back to top

Li Xiaoling

Cao Shunli Memorial Award

Human rights defenders Chen Jianfang (陈建芳) and Li Xiaoling (李小玲) have been named the co-recipients of the fourth Cao Shunli Memorial Award for Human Rights Defenders. The two women defenders are recognized for their contributions in promoting human rights at the grassroots level in China.

Li Xiaoling is a long-time defender of the rights of petitioners, prisoners, and other individuals marginalized or targeted by Chinese authorities. She has been involved in numerous campaigns to raise the profile of Chinese petitioners, to call attention to government rights violations, and to publicize information on government assets.

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.