Emergency Shelter

He Yang

Ni Yulan was once a successful and high-spirited lawyer. Now she is homeless and confined to a wheelchair. Striking story about people for whom China's Olympic dream turned into a true nightmare.

After Beijing was chosen to host the 2008 Olympic Games in 2001, the Chinese government wasted no time and went on a 'demolition tour' through the streets of the capital. Everything that stood in the way of future sports facilities and hotels and road infrastructure to be built was removed, without asking the owners and occupants for their permission. At the time, Ni Yulan was working as a lawyer for a big commercial company. Outraged by these wrongdoings, Yulan decided to take on the legal defense of the affected citizens. A decision that was going to cost her dearly, since she was arrested, tortured, imprisoned and her house was demolished. Ni Yulan became disabled as a result of being physically abused, and together with her husband she now lives in a tent next to a busy road.

Ni Yulan received the Dutch Government's human rights award, the Human Rights Defenders Tulip, in 2011. The winner is currently imprisoned in Beijng. Cisca Dresselhuys, chair of the independent jury for the Human Rights Defenders Tulip, will provide an introduction to the special screening of Emergency Shelter.


He Yang
Country of production
51 minutes
Spoken language
Production company
Chinese Human Rights Defenders