Ni Yulan

Profession: Lawyer
Status: Homeless
Reason: Opposing illegal demolitions

Latest updates

  • January 24, 2011: Over the last month, electricity, then water, and now internet connection, has been cut to the guesthouse room Ni Yulan (倪玉兰) and her husband is currently staying in. Police continue to pressure them to move out.

Files

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^ Quick info sheet for Ni Yulan

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^ Case file for Ni Yulan

Personal Information

Name: Ni Yulan (倪玉兰)
Gender: Female
Hometown: Beijing
DOB/Age: 50

Profession(s): Lawyer

Detailed information and legal analysis can be found in the case files or Urgent Appeals, please see the files section on your right.

Human Rights work and background

After retaining a law degree in 1986 from the China University of Political Science and Law (中国政法大学) in Beijing she started working in a work unit of the state she was assigned to and also worked part-time for the Justice Law Firm. In 1994 she was transferred to a well-known international trade company as a legal consultant before getting interested in rights
defense and human rights advocacy in 2001. Her first step into the realm of rights defense was to volunteer her legal skills to help write indictments, as well as provide legal defense, for victims of the persecution of Falun Gong members, The government quickly started persecuting Ni, who was detained by Police for her legal aid work, where she would be beaten and maltreated. She nevertheless continued her work, taking on politically sensitive cases, as well started to help and guide petitioners, especially teaching them how to prepare complaint documents. In 2002 her lawyers' license was
revoked. Since July 31, 2001 after China won the right to host Olympic, Ni has helped around 7900 people who had been forcibly relocated to do research, write and produce documents etc.

On April 27, 2002 Ni Yulan was beaten by Xinjiekou Police after she tried to shoot a video at the site of
eviction in Xicheng district (Beijing). Unlike the previous year, this time her beating would go on for fifteen hours
and leave her disabled. She was also detained for 10 days with the reason of "kicking the police," which then
led to 75 days under arrest. Ni can now only walk with a walking stick. On September 27, 2002 she reported what had happened to the Beijing People’s Congress, but she was convicted of “disrupting public service” and sentenced to one year
in prison. Despite this, after her release she would continue her human rights work, especially assistance
those being forcibly relocated. Since then, she has been assaulted and detained numerous times.

“Emergency Shelter” (应急避难场所), a feature length documentary film about Ni and her struggle by He Yang (何杨) was released in 2010. On April 15, 2008, after Ni was trying to stop demolition of her house in Xicheng District, she was picked up by Xinjiekou Police again, and as before the police alleged that the disabled Ni had "kicked" several policemen. On April 17, she was put under criminal detention. On the 29th the same month her arrest was approved by the Xicheng district procuratorate and she was charged with “interference with public administration” (after demanding demolition workers provide legal documentation authorizing the destruction). On December 18 (2008) she was sentenced to two year of imprisonment. She states that she was beaten and tortured both while in the pre-trial Xicheng detention center as well as while in prison
(Beijing Women's Prison). She was released on April 14 this year.

Current Situation

Despite extensive persecution, including making her disable, numerous instances of torture and severe maltreatment, Ni continues her activism despite the overwhelming threats against her and her husband. She and her husband has, amongst other, been given repeated warnings by the Police that they will kill their daughter if they continue their work. After being released, she has altered between staying at a hotel and living on the street, as she has lost her home and most of their possessions .Two key issues, briefly stated above, are the reason for her current situation.

2002 detention, torture and imprisonment
On April 27, 2002 Zhao Shen’s family was evicted from their home at Xinjiekou Street Daxitiao No.55. The same day Ni Yulan came to the site of eviction, and when at 11:45 pm Zhao’s family was forced into a police car, Ni took out her camera and was about to take pictures of the activities when a man and a woman ran to her, pushed her to the ground, snatched the camera and exposed the film (a few days later she learned that they are officers in the Administration of Urban House Dismantling and Relocation of Xicheng District). The police officers surrounding the area did not interfere in the attack on Ni.

She was later detained by the police, and would proceed to torture her for 15 hours, during which time she fell into unconciousness several time. On April 28, at 4 am, policemen from Xinjiekou police station arrested her for 10 days because she had "disrupted the order in the workplace".

On April 30 Ni was taken to the Beijing Red Cross Hospital due to the severity of the damage she had sustained. The police later carried out a mental examination, with the likely intent of placing her in a mental institution, probably a 'Ankang' institution, specially designated custodial facilities sometime used to detain people. It did not happen however. She was released on bail (obtained a guarantor) on July 10 but was convicted on November 27, 2002 by the Xicheng district court to one year of imprisonment for "disrupting public service".

2008 detention, torture and imprisonment
Ni was again detained and sentenced to imprisonment in 2008. This time it began when her home in Xinjiekou was to be demolished, and when she protested the demolition Police detained her on April 15. At the Police station she was locked in a small room without lights, and while being detained she would regularly be beaten. One police officer, Xiao Wei, peed on her. Police would say that Ni had assaulted police officers, and used it as a reason for her detention. On April 17, she was put under criminal detention, and on April 29 her arrest was approved by the Procuratorate, who formally charged her with “interference with public administration” ( 妨 害 公 务 罪 ). Ni had demanded to see legal authorization for the demolition of her home. She was convicted on December 18, 2008 and sentenced to two years of imprisonment.
On May 4, 2009 Ni was transferred from the Xicheng detention center to the Beijing Women's Prison. In November 2009 her house was demolished. After her release on April

14, 2010, she has stated that she was continuesly beaten, tortured and maltreated, both at the detention center and at the prison. With no home, and having lost most of her possessions, she and her husband, who has also been on the receiving end for persecution during Ni's time in prison, took into a small hotel where they stayed until the 28th of the same month. Since then she and her husband have been mostly homeless, spending most of their time around the Huangchenggen heritage park. In June police evicted her and her husband from the park, where they had set up a tent, and she continues to be closely watched by Police.

Her lawyer, Liu Wei, called the trial a farce. Amongst other things, the video recordings from the detention center was mysteriously blank. Current place of residence (at the time of writing this (2010-11-18)) is at Xingong Hotel, where they are being forced by Police to stay, and to remain under their surveillance. They were sent there by Police after Police kicked them out of the latest park they stayed at. Usually Ni and Dong are staying in a tent near Beijing's Wangfujing commercial street in a small park.

All updates since posting

  • January 24, 2011: Over the last month, electricity, then water, and now internet connection, has been cut to the guesthouse room Ni Yulan (倪玉兰) and her husband is currently staying in. Police continue to pressure them to move out.

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