MANDARIN: Interview with Li Heping (09/30/07)
MC: Li Heping, a lawyer from Beijing Gaobo Longhua law firm, has engaged in quite a few rights-protection legal activities. On Saturday, he was suddenly kidnapped by a group of unknown gangsters. It was reported to the RFA station that the kidnappers took Li Heping to an unidentified building and beat him up. They plundered his mobile hardware from his computer and the chip from his cell phone, and they copied the contents of his laptop. After about six hours, Li Heping was dropped by the kidnappers in the outskirts of Beijing. He returned home afterwards.
The lawyer, Li Heping, told the RFA reporter over the phone that he was kidnapped around 5:00 Saturday afternoon.
Li: It was around 5:30 p.m. on the 29th. Because the police and the state security guards have been following me these days, I ended up trying to communicate with a state security guard. He asked me to get in a car and wait for him. So, I did. After about five minutes, a group of people came by and covered my head with a cloth. They pushed me into a car and drove me to a place far away. I had the feeling that we finally walked into a basement. Around 10 people took turns beating me up with high-pressure electric clubs. I did not know who they were. They did not disclose their identity. After about 1:00, they pulled me out of the basement and drove around for an hour into the wilderness in the Xiaotang Mountain area.
MC: Prior to this incident, it was reported by the Sichuan LiuSitian Internet Human Rights Affairs Center that, because the lawyer, Li Heping, had paid a visit to Gao Zhicheng, a rights-protection lawyer in Beijing, Li was followed and watched by the Beijing public police bureau and state security guards.
The lawyer, Li Heping, said that he had reported the incident to the local police station, and the police had promised to investigate this malicious kidnapping case.
Li: I went to the police station today to report this incident. The police station said that this is a vicious incident and should be scrutinized and investigated. That is what one of the street police said.
MC: Li Heping said that some of his personal belongings were plundered from him, and the materials in his laptop were taken, as well.
Li: They did not return my mobile hardware to me, nor did they return my law firm gate card or my cell phone card. I have no idea what they were aiming for.
MC: Though Li Heping is a lawyer in commercial trade business, he has been engaged in quite a few rights-protection legal activities in recent years. He represents the defendant, Yang Zili, in the Beijing New Youth Club case. He has also helped Gao Zhisheng, a Beijing lawyer whose lawyer qualifications were annulled, to apply for executive renegotiation. He has helped Wang Bo, a Falungong member and a student of Beijing Music Institute, to defend his innocence.
Li Heping was unwilling to guess who the kidnappers were. However, he told the reporter that the kidnappers threatened him to leave Beijing immediately.
Li: What they said was: They asked my whole family to leave Beijing, sell our house and sell our car. In their words, “Get the hell out of Beijing.”
MC: Li Heping said that recently he has been mainly receiving cases on civil affairs and economic disputes, trying to stay away from sensitive cases. He has been working in Beijing as a lawyer for over a decade. Since his family, his work, and his friends are all in Beijing, it is impossible for him to leave Beijing. He will not alter the principle under which he conducts legal work.
The above was reported by RFA reporter Shi Shan.