Chinese labor activist Wei Zhili, an editor of “New Generation” (xinshengdai) a website which monitors and reports about internall migrant workers in China, was taken away by police officers from his home in Shenzhen on 20 March 2019. No direct contact has been made with him since his arrest and, without access to a lawyer of his choice, he is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.
Wei Zhili has been committed to labour rights and feminist issues since he graduated from university in 2001. Upon his university graduation, he worked in Hand-in-Hand Workers’ Activity Centre in Shenzhen providing legal advice, representation and organizing support to workers. A blog by Tian Yu, a Foxconn suicide survivor, recalled that Wei Zhili was so attentive and kind and that he and a group of students had supported and accompanied her and her family to get through the hardest time of her life. A lot of his recent work was focused on the plight of the workers from Hunan province who contracted silicosis due to lack of occupational health safety protection in the factories.
Wei Zhili was also previously threatened by police about his work on labour issues. In that incident, police reportedly told him and other labour activists that labour activism is “disturbing social order” and “speaking for workers is anti-Communist and counter-revolution”.
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