Chen Wuquan released from prison
Lawyers for Lawyers welcomes the news that Chinese human rights lawyer Chen Wuquan has been released from prison after five years on February 8, 2023. Chen Wuquan was taken into custody on 9 February 2018, following his “War to Protect the Sea” campaign.
Chen Wuquan is a prominent environmental defender and human rights lawyer who is recognized for his work on cases related to land appropriation and religious freedom. He offered legal aid to members of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement. In 2012, he acted as legal defense for Chen Kegui, the nephew of the persecuted “barefoot lawyer” Chen Guangcheng. Due to his association with this case, Chen Wuquan was disbarred, and his legal license was rescinded.
In October 2017, Chen Wuquan initiated the “War to Protect the Sea” campaign. This campaign demanded government action against the illegal land appropriation and reclamation in the tidal zones adjacent to his village. He participated in a shoreline protest and began an online petition against the project. As a result, Chen Wuquan and five others were placed under criminal detention on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles”, a charge often used to justify the arrests of human rights defenders. On 6 April 2018, UN experts expressed serious concern about Chen Wuquan’s arrest, arbitrary detention and criminal prosecution “for reasons ostensibly related to his work as a human rights lawyer and his activities as a land rights activist”.
On 8 February 2023, the Chen Wuquan completed his five-year sentence and was released from prison.
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