Xu Zhiyong’s girlfriend, rights activist Li Qiaochu, was formally approved for arrest

Beijing-based human rights activist Li Qiaochu was arrested on the same day and is currently being held at Linyi City People’s Hospital East (a supervised hospital) in Shandong Province, according to a March 15 news release from Rights Defense Network.

It is reported that Chinese authorities conducted a massive search for citizens who attended the December 26, 2019 “Xiamen Gathering”, including Li Qiaochu’s boyfriend Xu Zhiyong, the founder of the “New Citizens Movement”. After being summoned by Beijing police for 24 hours on December 31 of the same year while Xu Zhiyong was in exile, Li published “Handcuffed Across the New Year: How He Was Summoned on December 31”, calling on the public to break their fears and show their concern and solidarity with the “December 26 Citizens’ Case”.

Xu Zhiyong was taken away by the police in Guangzhou on the night of February 15 last year, and Li Qiaochu was taken away by Beijing police in the early hours of February 16 and held in secret detention for four months. After his release, Li Qiaochu tweeted about his imprisonment, expressed solidarity with others arrested, and continued to complain about the Food at the detention center where Xu Zhiyong was held. On February 6, Li was interviewed by Beijing’s national security authorities and then taken into criminal detention by police in Linyi, Shandong Province. To date, Li has not been allowed to meet with his lawyer.

According to reports, Li Qiaochu studied at the School of Labor and Human Resources of Renmin University of China and York University in the United Kingdom, where she received a master’s degree in public policy, and then worked as a research assistant at Tsinghua University. Li has long been involved in, concerned about, and researched labor, women’s rights, and civil rights issues in mainland China.

In the fall and winter of 2017, during the forced demolition and eviction of migrant workers in the suburbs of Beijing to “clean up the low-end population,” Li Qiaochu worked with other volunteers to gather information and disseminate it to the most affected communities, so that workers who had lost their jobs and homes could be employed and receive free and affordable accommodation.

Since 2018, she has been actively involved in civil movements such as “Anti-996” and “MeToo”, consolidating archives and writing reports to support various prisoners of conscience and their families on Twitter and other platforms.

After the outbreak of the Epidemic in Wuhan, she participated in several voluntary organizations, distributing masks to sanitation workers in Beijing, and assisting pregnant women in the epidemic area to help themselves.

According to rights.org, Li Qiaochu has been repeatedly harassed by state security and public security officials for her involvement in civil society activities. For years, state security guards were on daily duty outside her residence and followed her to and from work, seriously violating citizens’ daily privacy and basic rights.