China: Lawyers and locals search for missing teacher


Date:                       December 30, 2021


Lawyer Xie Yang holding up a banner reading "Bring Teacher Li Tiantian and her son home"
(Photo: ChinaAid source) 

(Yongshun County, Hunan Province—December 30, 2021) Local authorities recently forcibly sent teacher Li Tiantian from Hunan to a psychiatric hospital for publicly sympathizing with Song Gengyi, a teacher of Shanghai Zhendan Vocational College. This set off a wave of public opinion in China, and many human rights activists went to visit Li Tiantian in Yongshun County, Hunan Province, and they were subjected to violence by the local Communist Party officials.

On December 17, after Li Tiantian posted a message on Chinese social media Weibo to support Song Gengyi, a teacher of Shanghai Zhendan Vocational College, officials from Yongshun County, Hunan Province went to Li Tiantian’s house on the afternoon of the 18th to intimidate her. Li Tiantian, four months pregnant, was forcibly sent to a mental hospital on Christmas Eve. Ms. Li voiced her support for Song Gengyi, a teacher who said that the data about the 300,000 deaths in the Nanjing Massacre lacked historical support. Mrs. Song made those remarks on December 12th, and her school subsequently terminated her employment on the 16th.

At around 1 AM on Christmas, Cheng Xiaofeng, 80-year-old Ouyang Jinghua, and another individual rushed to the Yongshun County Hospital to visit Li Tiantian. Cheng Xiaofeng recounted that there were two police guarding the second floor of the surgical building. The security guard would not allow them to enter and said that the second floor, which was the “Maternity Emergency Center” was sealed.

Cheng Xiaofeng and Ouyang Jinghua broke into the third floor and looked through all the wards, but did not see Li Tiantian. When they got down to the second floor, seven or eight security guards rushed up to intercept them.

Hunan human rights lawyer Xie Yang also arrived on Christmas to visit Li Tiantian. He realized that plainclothes CCP authorities immediately followed him. The local villagers were not allowed to speak, and all of Li Tiantian’s family members were “nowhere to be found.”

Lawyer Xie Yang went to the Taozixi Village Elementary School in Shaba Town and the Yongshun County Public Security Bureau and put up a banner at their gates with the slogan “Bring teacher Li Tiantian and her son home.” Xie Yang then went to the Shaba police station to ask about Li Tiantian’s situation. To which the Shaba police station said they “did not participate in the arrest of Teacher Li Tiantian at 9 pm on December 19.”

Li Tiantian allegedly went home on the afternoon of the 26th and expressed her gratitude for all the support she has received on her WeChat public account: “Li Tiantian will always be Li Tiantian, words are the embodiment of my spirit and personality.” 

After getting confirmation the new information, human rights lawyers Xie Yang, Cheng Xiaofeng and the others drove to the house of Li Tiantian’s grandfather in hopes of passing along the donations to Li. Xie Yang said: “My car was parked in front of Li Tiantian’s grandfather’s house, and the domestic security personnel’s car was parked next to Ms. Li's Grandpa’s house. Two days ago, lawyer Chen Yixuan could still see Grandpa’s face, but today it was absolutely impossible. That is okay, we can simply wait, it feels alright this way too!”

Lawyer Xie Yang arrived 500 meters away from Li Tiantian's school and got out of the car to chat with three locals who were familar with Li. When Xie informed them that Teacher Li was sent to a psychiatric hospital due to mental illness, they were very concerned about what was going on, and Xie said: “I don't know either!”

Xie Yang and three others went to Li Tiantian’s house again, and were beaten up by the local officials and even had their mobile phones taken away.

While making his way to Ms. Li’s house, Xie Yang said on Twitter: “The suffering of our generation will be solved by ourselves because we don't want to cast that aside for future generations! It's time for you to express your stances!” He continued in another tweet, “(We) cannot allow silence to become a habit!”

Chinese officials forced Li Tiantian, a pregnant woman who supported freedom of speech, into a psychiatric hospital, and led to a severe human rights crisis and intense concern from human rights lawyers and netizens.

At present, Li Tiantian’s current situation is still unclear, including her family and boyfriend. There are reports stating that she is still in a state of enforced disappearance. The authorities allowed her to surface and then controlled her again.

At 10 PM on the evening of December 26, Mr. Ouyang Jinghua sent a WeChat request for help: “(We) have lost contact with Lawyer Xie Yang and three others. Everyone, please pay attention to it urgently.”

~ Gao Zhensai, ChinaAid Special Correspondent


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