Shi Minglei, Cheng Yuan’s wife, announced:
Today, I learned that Cheng Yuan was sentenced to five years. The attorney appointed by the government refused to give us the verdict. It is completely an illegal trial. We, the family of Cheng Yuan, will never acknowledge it.
Cheng Yuan, originally from Changsha, Hunan Province, moved to Shenzhen, Guangdong Province to become one of the founders and staffers of the NGO Changsha Funeng. Changsha Funeng provides legal defense for persons living with HIV, AIDS, and hepatitis B patients. In 2013, he became prestigious because one of his clients in an AIDS employment discrimination case in Jinxian County, Jiangxi Province received legal compensation.
On July 21, 2019, he was suddenly taken away by police from Hunan Province Changsha State Security Bureau in Shenzhen and held immediately under “designated residential surveillance” on the charge of suspected “subversion of State power.” He was asked multiple times about his responsibilities in Changsha Funeng, funding resources, and details about his recent activities—namely his recent trip to Hong Kong.
Other sources report that the arrest negatively affected Chen Yuan’s family: Chinese Communist Party (CCP) interrogated his wife, Shi Minglei, for 17 hours, covering her head in a black cloth. Chen Yuan’s 3-year-old daughter had a seizure and talked in her sleep. Officials also threatened and warned his brother, Cheng Hao, and his elderly father. The defense attorney was prohibited from details about the case and was only informed of his client’s indictment and detention length.
On August 26, 2019, Changsha City State Security Bureau arrested two staffers of Changsha Funeng—Liu Dazhi and Wu Ge Jianxiong—on the charge of suspected “subversion of State power.”
After a secret trial on July 20, 2021, officials charged Cheng Yuan with a severe 5-year imprisonment ending on July 2, 2024 on the charge of “subversion of State power.” Cheng Yuan is now detained
at Hunan Province State Security Department Detention Center.