China detains human rights lawyers

At least five Chinese lawyers from a human rights law firm were detained on July 11 after being accused of running a criminal syndicate and smear campaign against the Communist Party. The arrests come amid President Xi Jinping's attempts to discredit the rights defense movement which has been challenging the government through protests and litigation. Amnesty International reported that it is believed that more than 50 human rights lawyers and activists have been targeted by authorities for detention and questioning since a nationwide crackdown began July 9.

From Jurist, July 12. Used with permission.

  1. Protests over detained attorneys in China

    Two months after Chinese police carried out a midnight raid on the home of prominent human rights lawyer Wang Yu and her husband, part of a nationwide police operation targeting hundreds of attorneys, her lawyers marched to a police station near where she is believed to be held to demand a meeting with Wang. Li Weida and Lu Zhoubin, who have been instructed to represent Wang by her relatives, visited the Hexi district police bureau in the northern city of Tianjin on Sept. 9 in a bid to find out more about her whereabouts, amid growing concerns for the welfare of all detained lawyers. (RFA)

  2. UN Committee Against Torture warns China over crackdown

    The UN Committee Against Torture issued a statement calling for a halt to China's crackdown on lawyers and activists. The Committee issued its report after questioning a large Chinese government delegation as part of a two-day hearing. The report gives Beijing one year to report back on progress made in implementing key areas of the UN Convention against Torture. "The Committee remains seriously concerned over consistent reports indicating that the practice of torture and ill-treatment is still deeply entrenched in the criminal justice system, which overly relies on confessions as the basis for convictions," the statement said. (BBC News, Dec. 10)

  3. Protesters clash with police at Beijing courthouse

    Police scuffled with protesters at a Beijing courthouse Dec. 14 as prominent rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang stood trial on charges of provoking trouble and stirring ethnic hatred with online commentaries that were critical of the ruling Communist Party. Chinese protesters and foreign rights groups said Pu's trial at the No. 2 Beijing Intermediate Court amounted to political persecution, and foreign governments including the US called for his release. The trial concluded about midday, and Pu’s lawyer Shang Baojun said a verdict and sentence would be delivered at a later date. (France24)