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Zhang Kun


Zhang Kun began advocating for human rights issues in 2013, when he became involved in activities calling for a democratic, constitutional government. Over the next two years, Zhang Kun travelled often from his home in Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province to cities across China to campaign for the release of detained lawyers and other defenders, as well as to join in calls for open disclosure of 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.