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Justice For Women

Underground Railroad


Since its inception, HRLF has been advocating for the rights of women and girls. These are a few examples of HRLF’s women’s advocacy projects. With the Justice For Women Program, HRLF plans to expand its women’s rights work. To read more about the program, please click here.


Helen Petit Tong

Helen Petit TongHelene Petit Tong is a citizen of France. She traveled to Beijing, China, to protest the persecution of members of the Falun Gong religion in that country. She was unlawfully arrested and physically and sexually assaulted by officers during her interrogation. Upon her return, Mrs. Tong contacted HRLF staff to seek legal redress on her behalf. In collaboration with the Center for Justice and Accountability and Paul Hoffman, HRLF filed a lawsuit against then-mayor of Beijing, Liu Qi, for his role in the planning, instigation, and authorization of the abuses suffered by Petit and the other plaintiffs. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California found the defendant responsible for violating the right of Mrs. Tong to be free from cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.

Mrs. Tong has also played a major role in several other lawsuits filed on behalf of Falun Gong believers in courts around the world. These include a case filed by renowned human rights lawyers William Bourdon and Georges-Henri Beauthier against Li Lanqing, the former head of the Gestapo-like 610 Office that was established to micromanage the persecutory campaign waged against Falun Gong believers in China. In 2004, the case was accepted by the Paris Civil Court, which issued a request to its Chinese counterpart asking for judicial assistance and collaboration. The case was closed in 2005 because Chinese authorities did not answer the judge’s request.

Mrs. Tong lives with her children in Paris, where she works for a media group and continues to practice the Falun Gong religion.


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