Back to top
Zhao Wei

Zhao Wei

HRD, Legal assistant
The Guardian Feature

The day Zhao Wei disappeared: how a young law graduate was caught in China's human rights dragnet

I am here to change society, not to get used to it

Zhao Wei is a legal assistant to human rights lawyer Li Heping at Beijing Globe Law Firm. Before joining the firm in 2014, she was involved in a number of activites promoting human rights and social justice, including a campaign to support HRDs who were detained after they privately marked the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown. She has also campaigned on LGBTI rights and on behalf of those living with HIV.


Chinese HRDs face intimidation, harassment, house arrest, abductions, torture and imprisonment. They also work under very restrictive legislation, including laws which criminalize all unauthorized demonstrations and require government sponsorship for NGO registration, which is refused to any organisation touching on human rights issues. Widescale investigations into NGOs with links to overseas organisations took place in 2014 and 2015 resulting in harassment, detentions and forced closures.