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Kou Yanding

HRD, Documentary Film Maker

In China, some people are often silently disappeared for what their conscience has led them to do, and this is more terrifying than death.

Kou Yanding is a disabled rights activist, an author and an editor of independent documentaries. For over 20 years, Kou Yanding has been advocating for the rights of the disabled and following the devastating earthquake in Sichuan province in 2008, she established a number of groups to support disabled artists and other survivors. She has also written books on the development of civil society in China and about the introduction of democracy at a grassroots level.

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.