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 disaster.
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 son’s friends.
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 better future.
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, rocky.
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 police.
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.