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Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

-- Matthew 25:40, NIV

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Prominent Chinese public interest lawyer detained in Henan

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Chang Bo Yang
(Photo courtesy of
China Aid Association

(Zhengzhou, Henan—June 4, 2014) A prominent public interest lawyer based out of China’s central Henan province was detained on the evening of May 27 after being summoned to a local police station for “disturbing the public order.”

Chang Bo Yang was delivered a summons by approximately 15 police officers from the Er Li Gang Police Station in Zhengzhou, Henan, at about 9 p.m. on May 27, his family said. Two of the family’s computers and two cell phones were seized.

It wasn’t until around midnight on May 29, Beijing time, that Chang’s family received a call, officially notifying them of the detention. The family was left with neither a list of seized items, a date to expect a written detention notice nor any other information.

A partner at the Boyang Law Firm in Henan, Chang founded the province’s first pro bono legal aid organization in 2004.

Along with lawyers from across China, he founded a volunteer lawyers’ group in September 2009 to assist children affected by tainted baby formula. The same group has handled many cases involving the rights of deprived groups such as migrant workers, AIDS patients and minors.

In addition, the group has started or participated in 10 suggestion letters from lawyers calling for reforms to reeducation through labor camps; letter from lawyers in four provinces to the Ministry of Education, calling for the elimination of residency restrictions for the college entrance exams; petitions to end mandatory annual law firm audits; and petitions to increase court security and other such proposals.

Recently, Chang defended a detained Christian in Nanle County, Henan, where more than 20 church members were taken into custody for “gathering a crowd to disrupt public order” after a group of church members attempted to trave to Beijing to petition for a more favorable outcome to a land dispute between the church and the local government. In Nanle County, Chang defended Zhang Cujian, the sister of Nanle County Christian Church’s detained pastor, Zhang Shaojie (see http://www.chinaaid.org/2014/01/exclusive-identity-of-12-detained-nanle.html, http://www.chinaaid.org/2014/02/nanle-county-lawyers-submit-complaint.html and http://www.chinaaid.org/2014/03/two-nanle-believers-cases-sent-to.html).

Even more recently, Chang was defending Shi Yu, a detained journalist. Chang made several visits to the Er Li Gang Police Station, attempting to meet with Ms. Shi. At this time, there is no evidence that suggests Chang’s detention is related to his representation of Shi.

Chang has reached many achievements, including being awarded the title of “Henan Goodwill Ambassador” by the Henan Charity Federation and being named Henan province’s “Prominent Contributor to the Protection of Minors” and one of Henan’s “Top 10 Legal Aid Lawyers,” according to a press release. Chang was also nominated for the Da He Newspaper’s “Public Interest Star” award.

Below is a list, from the press release received by China Aid, of Chinese news articles featuring Chang. The articles can be read by using the built-in translation tool in Google Chrome, or by pasting the web addresses into the text box at translate.google.com.

1. Lawyers join to help victims of the baby formula scandal

2. Henan professor charged with 10 counts of sexual assault sentenced to death penalty; RMB 1.3 Million in Compensation to Victims’ Families

3. Parents join to oppose post-secondary institutions’ monitoring of student internet usage

4. First non-disclosure suit against the Ministry of Public Security

5. Suit against excessive toll fees

6. First case on college admissions test residence changes

7. Kunming elementary school students’ prostitution case

8. Henan villager seeks government compensation for being wrongly committed to a psychiatric institution for 6.5 years

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Website: www.chinaaid.org