Who is Ni Yulan?
Ni Yulan is a civil rights lawyer in the People's Republic of China. Ni began practicing law in 1986, and established herself in the field of human rights lawyering by defending marginalized groups such as Falun Gong practitioners and victims of forced eviction.
Ni began her human rights work in 2001, when her neighborhood in Beijing was slated to be demolished in order to accommodate the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Ni organized with neighbors to attempt to save their homes or demand equitable compensation. In 2002, Ni was arrested while filming the destruction of a neighbor's home. She was disbarred and sentenced to a year in prison. As a result of torture incurred in prison in 2002, Ni was left permanently disabled, and she is now uses a wheelchair. Soon after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Ni was again arrested for advocating on behalf of displaced residents, and sentenced to two years in prison. Upon her release, she had to live in a tent, since she was a victim of land eviction herself.
On 7 April 2011, Ni and her husband were detained by police as part of a nationwide crackdown on dissent. On 29 December 2011, Chinese authorities put Yulan on trial for fraud in Beijing. In April 2012, Ni was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for “making trouble” and "fraud." Her husband, Dong Jiqin, was similarly sentenced to two years for "making trouble."
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