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Shen Aibin

Shen Aibin


Shen Aibin is a Chinese human rights defender who has exposed government corruption and highlighted the detention of petitioners in “black jails”, or illegal holding sites. Petitioners are people in China who believe they have had their rights violated at a local level and who frequently travel to Beijing to petition the central government, where they are routinely detained or assaulted. The human rights defender has led efforts to rescue petitioners detained in such sites and draw attention to the continued use of these facilities, despite government assurances to the contrary.   


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.