A former Chinese judge will arrive in Vancouver at 7:45 p.m. tomorrow, Sept. 23. Li Jianfeng served 11 years in a Chinese prison for "subverting state power" after using his position as a judge to aid vulnerable groups and human rights advocates.
Li was released in 2013 after serving 11 years of his original 16-year sentence for charges of "illegal weapon possession" and "subverting state power." At that time, China Aid began to lead efforts to rescue Li from China, where he faced further reprisal for creating organizations he called "labor alliances." These "labor alliances" were support networks comprised of business owners, police, judges and human rights defenders that provided aid to socially vulnerable groups and human rights advocates using public and semi-public methods.
Soon after his release, China Aid and others successfully helped Li gain political asylum in Bangkok. During his time in Thailand, Li was visited by many of the individuals who continued to seek Li's relocation to further safety, including China Aid's founder and president, Bob Fu, and China Aid's vice president, Kody Kness.
"On the eve of China's dictator, Xi Jinping, being welcomed to the White House, we are so happy to accomplish this long-term rescue mission and finally welcome Judge Li Jianfeng to a land that is free from persecution and fear," Fu said. "We call upon the international community to continue to press China to release those thousands of prisoners of conscience like Judge Li. We will not relent until that day comes.