Human rights lawyer Wang Yu released on bail
11 August 2016

Human rights lawyer Wang Yu released on bail


How much bail was paid is unknown, but Wang Yu had a high price to pay. Prior to this unexpected release, a videotaped confession of Wang Yu was circulated on Chinese state media. In this interview, Wang Yu praised the Chinese authorities, stating: “All my rights were protected. I enjoyed a civilized legal treatment”. Wang Yu also stated that she cannot accept the international awards that were awarded to her for her work, including the prestigious Ludovic Trarieux Human Rights Award on June 4, 2016. Wang Yu said in the interview: “I don’t recognize this price, I do not accept it and I won’t depute anyone to accept this price on my behalf. ”

Human rights lawyer Wang Yu was one of the first who was arrested during the large-scale crackdown against critical lawyers and human rights activists by the Chinese authorities.

On July 9, 2015, Wang Yu was arrested by the Chinese authorities. Her husband Bao Longjun, a human rights activist, and their teenage son Bao Zbhuoxuon, were at that same time detained at the airport. They were on their way to Australia where their son would go to school. Bao Longjun was also arrested. Their teenage son has been released, but his passport was confiscated.

Wang Yu is a prominent human rights lawyer, who, since 2011, has worked to protect the rule of law and weiquan (human rights) in China. Her clients include the renowned Uyghur intellectual Tothi Ilham, who is serving a life sentence, the women’s group ‘Five Feminists’, and members of the Falun Gong movement. In recent years, Wang Yu has become the eyesore of the Chinese authorities due to her social media activities with which she managed to reach a widespread audience. These social media activities are seen as the reason for her arrest on July 9, 2015.

Following the arrest of Wang Yu, mass protests by fellow human rights lawyers took place throughout the country. They openly supported a protest statement against the detention of Wang Yu. The Chinese authorities have responded with an unprecedented detention campaign. In the past year, more than 300 human rights lawyers, law firm staff and human rights activists were arrested or placed under house arrest. Many of them were found to have signed the protest statement.

Where and how Wang Yu was detained remains unknown. In January 2016 Wang Yu has been formally charged with subversion against the state, a serious crime that can lead to life imprisonment. After more than a year in custody, Wang Yu is now released on bail by the Chinese authorities on August 1, 2016. In the interview on the state media, she said she is happy to see her son again.

Update August 11, 2016: ‘release’ Wang Yu and her husband unclear
In addition to the release of Wang Yu, the Chinese authorities reported that her husband Bao Longjun was as well released on bail on August 5, 2016. But up to this point it is unclear where Wang Yu and her husband are. Family and friends have not seen or talked to the couple. The lawyer of Wang Yu, Wen Donghai, announced not to have had any contact with his client. Only when the interview with Wang Yu was broadcasted, Wen Donghai learned about the release of Wang Yu.

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