written by lawyer Wang Quanzhang before he was
Dear Father and Mother:
I, your unfilial son, kowtow to you both.
Not only am I unable to let you live your later
years in peace, or provide Mother the means to obtain
comprehensive traditional medicine treatment, I have
brought you to Beijing, and brought upon you a huge
Perhaps you know what happened to us—especially what
happened to me—through official channels.
No matter how despicable and ridiculous we appear to
be in the portrayal by the manipulated media, Mother,
Father, please believe your son, and please believe your
I have never abandoned the qualities Father and
Mother instilled in me: honesty, kindheartedness,
integrity. In all these years, I have used these
principles to guide my life. Even though I’ve often been
steeped in despair, I have never given up thoughts for a
My taking up the work—and walking down the path—of
defending human rights wasn’t just a sudden impulse.
Instead, it came from a hidden part of my nature, a
calling that has intensified over the years—and has
always been slowly reaching up like the ivy.
This kind of path is doomed to be thorny, tortuous,
But when I think of the difficult road we have gone
through together, this path seems commonplace.
Dear Father and Mother, please feel proud of me.
Also, no matter how horrible the environment is, you
must hang on and live, and wait for the day when the
clouds will disperse and the sun will come out.
Your son, I kowtow once more.
(Please publish after I have lost my freedom.)
Wang Quanzhang, 39, received his law degree in 2000 and
has since taken on cases that have gone beyond the
specialties listed in his online profile: criminal,
contract and marriage law. His defense of civil rights
advocates has led to several stints in detention as well
as physical confrontations with court bailiffs and the
In 2013, he represented Wang Dengchao, a former police
officer who tried to organize a pro-democracy rally in
Shenzhen. Last year, Mr. Wang was briefly detained for
being part of a group of about 30 people publicly
protesting the detention of Falun Gong practitioners at
an extrajudicial detention center in northeast China.
In June, several court bailiffs beat Mr. Wang after he
was expelled from a court hearing during closing
arguments, according to one account by Chinese
Human Rights Defenders, an advocacy group.
Mr. Wang was detained on July 10.