5 years since arrest of Li Yuhan
Today, it is exactly five years after Chinese human rights lawyer Li Yuhan was arrested on 9 October 2017. Li Yuhan was tried in October 2021 but is still to receive a verdict. In the meantime, her health is deteriorating and her access to medical services is limited.
As a lawyer, Li Yuhan frequently acted in cases concerning freedom of belief, and in cases concerning access to government information. Li Yuhan also defended Wang Yu, one of the most prominent lawyers targeted in the so-called ‘709-crackdown’, a mass-arrest of civil rights lawyers in the summer of 2015.
Li Yuhan was arrested on October 9, 2017. For more than a month after her arrest, she was refused access to legal representation. On November 15, 2017, she was charged with “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” and “fraud”. Li Yuhan’s trial was scheduled for April 9, 2019, but was postponed. Li Yuhan told her lawyer in late November 2019 that the court had said she would be allowed to practice law again after release, as long as she confessed to her supposed crime. After being delayed for multiple times, Li Yuhan’s trial was finally held in October 2021. She has continued to refuse to confess. No verdict has been issued to date.
Li Yuhan has several urgent medical conditions: arrhythmia, fluttering in chest and tremors, coronary heart disease, unstable angina, hyperthyroidism, acute erosive gastritis, cerebral concussion, and cerebral ischemia. Her conditions have worsened due to continued limited access to medical services and medicines. According to reports, Li Yuhan has suffered multiple heart attacks whilst in detention. Her applications for release on medical parole have been denied.
Lawyers for Lawyers has expressed its concerns about the welfare of Li Yuhan before, and called for her immediate release. Lawyers for Lawyers renews its calls for Li Yuhan’s unconditional release, and to grant her urgent access to adequate medical care.
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