"People in certain areas do not need big hotels, they do not need a huge stadium, they just need the nature to sustainably live and survive."
“One day, we should be entitled to go back to our hometown, but the condition is: with democracy, with freedom, with human rights, and without fear.”
"In the outside world, people see a China that is different from the real China. I think I have the responsibility to speak up and let people know the truth."
"I chose to be a human rights defender by, hopefully, protecting those who don't know where to find a solution when there are human rights abuses happening to them."
Our fourth and final story in our series of Chinese lawyers' profiles illustrates the courageous story of Qin Yongpei, a Chinese human rights lawyer who in his efforts to shed light on government misconduct, was unfairly detained by the Chinese government.
Two years ago, not many people outside the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong would have heard the name Chow Hang-tung. Today, her name is on every Hongkonger’s lips.
Any country that claims to respect the rule of law, must establish a fair legal system. However, in a totalitarian regime, those in power refuse to be constrained by law or respect citizens' legal rights. They choose to persecute, suppress and arrest lawyers who persist in defending civil rights. One famous example in China is lawyer Yu Wensheng, who was sentenced to four years in prison for “inciting subversion of State power”.
This is the first story in our new series of Chinese lawyers' profiles: read the inspiring story of Albert Ho, a pro-democracy leader who dedicated most of his lifetime to showing what it means to live by one's belief, walk one's talk, and give it all to preserve the truth.
"States have the obligation to respect defenders, to provide them with security, to heed their calls and to consider that we are people who support the most vulnerable sectors of society, and that this is a contribution to democratic life."
"So I saw the need of engaging different activists and human rights defenders across the region to make sure that this kind of arrest should not happen to anybody because of their gender identity or sexual orientation." Mauricio Ochieng' is a transgender activist and a SOGIESC human rights defender from the Western part of Kenya.
"We try to defend happiness from a principle of reality," says Donovan Ortega, working at the Fray Francisco de Vitoria Human Rights Center in Mexico.
“What is needed from the international community in general, and from within the UN, is a concrete, coherent and unified voice in favour of the protection of human rights defenders, the safeguard of the fundamental liberties, the civic space and human dignity,” says Rosana Lezama Sanchez, a law student in Venezuela working with three national human rights organisations.