Skip to content Skip to navigation

My Husband Li Heping, Part 4—Two Families' Pillars Have Been Taken Away

August 4, 2015

I could not have imagined that while looking for Li Heping, his younger brother Li Chunfu, who is also a lawyer, was taken away by the Tianjin Municipal Security Bureau Hexi Branch in the evening of August 1. At the same time, his home was also searched, and his computer, files, books, and other items were taken away.
I was very shocked by this news, without understanding why lawyer Li Chunfu, who has nothing to do with the cases that Li Heping handled, would be taken away at this time. Perhaps it’s just because he’s Heping’s brother? Chunfu’s law firm handles more civil cases. I really can’t fathom why even he would be taken away.

Li Chunfu’s five-year-old son—the little guy I often call “Little Snowball”—made a great show of saying, “Dad was taken away in handcuffs.” Terrified, Little Snowball’s mother still remembered to comfort her boy by saying, “That was just a toy.” But that wasn’t a toy!
Fortunately, Snowball’s older brother wasn’t there. Now, the pillars of the two families have been taken by the police—leaving two housewives, each taking care of two young children. What will tomorrow be like?    

I drove home after consoling lawyer Chunfu’s family. The closer I got to my neighborhood the more nervous I got. So I just pulled over and stopped on the side of the road. If someone was to call and tell me that there was a water leakage in my home kitchen (lawyer Chunfu was taken away when he went home after being told that there was a water leakage in his home kitchen and that he should go home to have a look), I would just dump my identity card and mobile phone now and run. The key is: where should I run to? After thinking for a long time, I felt that I had nowhere to go: I couldn’t bring troubles to my relatives and I couldn’t stay in a hotel.

I was just afraid to go home. I reclined the seat and lay on it. Cars were whizzing by me, with the sounds of people talking and laughing. If this happened in the past, it would have been a scary thing: a woman lying in a car on a road in the middle of nowhere near midnight.

But now, as I looked at the darkness around me, and the strangers and howling vehicles, I actually felt far safer than in a home that had been searched. But I needed to know what was happening with Chunfu and needed to charge my mobile phone. I couldn’t miss any news that might be coming in. I made an effort to drive home, parked in the basement, and took the elevator, imagining that if a bunch of people were already waiting when I arrived on the third floor, I would just be caught like a turtle in a jar. Why compare myself to a turtle? Self-mockery in misery, I suppose.

The elevator doors opened—there was nobody. I gave a sigh of relief. When I was opening the door with my key, I was thinking if someone would already be waiting inside. The door opened—the lights were on but no one was there. I had forgotten to turn off the lights when I went out. I let out a bitter laugh. I am like a scared animal. What in the end did I do? What law did I break? In fact, I am implicated because I’m the family of Li Heping. I am scared of being implicated.

Source (CH): (Originally published by Boxun)

Explore Topics

Access to Information Access to Justice Administrative Detention Arbitrary Detention Asset Transparency Bilateral Dialogue
Black Jail Book Review Business And Human Rights Censorship Children Chinese Law
Circumvention technology Citizen Activism Citizen Journalists Citizen Participation Civil Society Communist Party Of China
Consumer Safety Corruption Counterterrorism Courageous Voices Cultural Revolution Culture Matters
Current and Political Events Cyber Security Daily Challenges Democratic And Political Reform Demolition And Relocation  Dissidents
Education Enforced Disappearance Environment Ethnic Minorities EU-China Family Planning
Farmers Freedom of Association Freedom of Expression Freedom of Press Freedom of Religion Government Accountability
Government regulation Government transparency Heilongjiang Lawyers’ Detention Historical Anecdotes Hong Kong House Arrest
HRIC Translation Hukou Human Rights Council Human rights updates Ideological Contest Illegal Search And Detention
Inciting Subversion Of State Power Information Control  Information technology Information, Communications, Technology (ICT) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) International Human Rights
International Relations International Window Internet Internet Governance Judicial Reform June Fourth
Kidnapping Labor Camps Labor Rights Land, Property, Housing Lawyer's rights Lawyers
Legal System Legal World Letters from the Mainland Major Event (Environment, Food Safety, Accident, etc.) Mao Zedong Microblogs (Weibo)
National People's Congress (NPC) New Citizens Movement Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Olympics Online Activism Open Government Information
Personal Story Police Brutality Political commentary Political Prisoner Politics Prisoner Of Conscience
Propaganda Protests And Petitions Public Appeal Public Security Racial Discrimination Reeducation-Through-Labor
Rights Defenders Rights Defense Rule Of Law Special Topic State compensation State Secrets
State Security Subversion Of State Power Surveillance Technology Thoughts/Theories Tiananmen Mothers
Tibet Torture Typical cases United Nations Uyghurs, Uighurs Vulnerable Groups
Women Youth Youth Perspective