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Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Face Systematic Government Crackdown



Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Face Systematic Government Crackdown 

The World Movement for Democracy strongly condemns the mass arrests and harassment of human rights lawyers and activists in China, and joins the international community in demanding that the Chinese government immediately stop the systematic crackdown on civil society in the country.

Photo credit to credit to 巴丢草


From July 10 to 17, more than 222 human rights lawyers, law firm staff, and activists in China were detained, arrested, or summoned by the local police across the country. To date, nine lawyers and two activists have been criminally detained or put under residential surveillance, and it is feared that these lawyers and activists will face police brutality. In addition, four lawyers and eleven other activists are still incommunicado, and more than 179 persons have been temporarily detained or forcibly summoned by police.

The list of those targeted includes Wang Yu, a prominent human rights lawyer who works for Fengrui Law Firm in Beijing, her husband and their 16-year old son, as well as her co-workers. Other renowned lawyers, such as Li Heping and Sui Muqing, were also taken by the police in Tianjin and Guangzhou, respectively. As of today, Li is still detained, Sui is under residential surveillance, and both have been threatened with the charge of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles.”

In other areas of China, lawyers who have previously participated in human rights cases, or openly criticized officials for violating human rights, were also summoned and questioned by local police. Xie Yang, a lawyer based in Hunan,was taken away on July 11,soon after he signed a public statement with 101 other lawyers to show solidarity with Wang Yu on July 9.

On July 1, a new national security law was passed by the National People’s Congress, which allows the authorities to take official actions against potential threats to national security. Legal experts fear that the passage of this new law, with its vague provisions, will be used to justify more restrictions and control of civil society.

The World Movement for Democracy is very concerned that repressive measures will continue against human rights defenders in China. Please show your solidarity with the repressed lawyers, activists, and their families by sending a message to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the global community is watching and condemns the crackdown against human rights lawyers.

Please share this message on Twitter and Facebook:

I urge #China to release detained human rights lawyers & activists, and end its crackdown on civil society! #SetThemFree


Other statements in support for human rights lawyers and activists in China:

  1. Amnesty International
  2. Freedom House
  3. U.S. Department of State
  4. European Union
  5. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
  6. China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group
  7. International Services for Human Rights
  8. Christoph Strässer (Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid)
  9. Front Line Defenders
  10. Congressional-Executive Commission on China
  11. Taiwan Association for Human Rights
  12. Initiatives for China
  13. Committee to Support Chinese Lawyers
  14. China Human Rights Defenders
  15. Progressive Lawyers Group
  16. The Federation for a Democratic China (FDC) (in Chinese)
  17. Chinese Human Rights Defenders
  18. Human Rights Now (in Chinese)
  19. The Legal ECs
  20. The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong
  21. Law Council of Australia
  22. The Law Society
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