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Ren Quanniu

HRD, Lawyer

Ren Quanniu (任全牛) is a human rights lawyer based in Henan province. He has provided legal assistance to detained or prosecuted human rights defenders and journalists, including Ding Lingjie, Zhen Jianghua, and Zhang Zhan. He has also defended individuals who faced prosecution due to their religious affiliations, including Falun Gong followers.

After the "709 Crackdown" on human rights lawyers in 2015, he was hired to defend detained woman human rights defender Zhao Wei, who was the legal assistant to human rights lawyer Li Heping. Ren Quanniu was never allowed to meet Zhao Wei and was himself criminally detained for almost a month in 2016 after he made public comments on social media asking the authorities to investigate allegations of mistreatment of his client in detention. In 2020, he was hired to defend one of the 12 Hong Kong youth activists who were intercepted by Chinese authorities in August 2020 while fleeing to Taiwan by boat, but the authorities refused to allow him to meet his client and repeatedly threatened him to abandon the case.


Chinese human rights defenders work across a wide spectrum of issues, engaging with rights violators on numerous levels. Many of China’s most prominent and most stringently prosecuted defenders have worked to protect the health and well-being of victims of physically harmful government and corporate practice, including forced abortion, food health scandals, environmental pollution, and corrupt or negligent government action leading to preventable loss of life.