(China Aid) — Li Jianfeng, a former senior judge in China, has been granted political asylum in Canada in a coordinated effort by led by China Aid and will arrive in Vancouver this evening. Li was imprisoned for more than a decade after the Tiananmen Square Massacre for using his position to aid vulnerable groups and endured beatings and hard labor during that time.
Li was arrested in February 2002 in China’s coastal Fujian province and was convicted two years later of “illegal weapon possession” and “subverting state power.” Li was the first person in mainland China to be convicted of “subverting state power,” a serious charge that replaced “counter-revolution” after the massacre at Tiananmen Square.
Before his conviction, Li used his position as a judge in the Fujian Intermediate People’s Court to improve the condition of his community, ruling in nearly 100 cases and directly assisting 431 people. Secretly, he began organizations called “labor alliances,” support networks of business owners, police, judges and human rights defenders to aid socially vulnerable groups and human rights activists through both public and semi-public methods. He also covertly published a book titled “Labor Alliance,” calling on people to defend themselves through civil disobedience.