Open letter about detention lawyers
24 July 2016

Open letter about detention lawyers


The 9th of July 2016 marks one year since the unprecedented and seemingly well-coordinated detention campaign of a large number of human rights lawyers and defenders in China. In an open letter to President Xi Jinping, Lawyers for Lawyers, together with a large coalition of lawyers and lawyers organizations, expressed its continuing concern about the situation of the lawyers still held in detention.

The wave of arrests followed the disappearance of lawyer Wang Yu on 9 July 2015. In the weeks hereafter, more than 300 human rights lawyers, legal assistants, and rights activists were targeted during the nationwide sweep.

Today, 23 individuals are held under formal arrest, nine of them human rights lawyers, one law firm staff member and 13 human rights defenders. Six of the lawyers, including Wang Yu, Wang Quanzhang, Li Heping, Zhou Shifeng, Li Chunfu and Liu Sixin have been charged with the serious crimes of “subversion”. Three other lawyers, Bao Longjun, Xie Yanyi and Xie Yang, have been charged with “inciting subversion”.

Even though these lawyers were formally arrested half a year ago, none of them has been able to meet with their defense counsel and family. In the letter, the organizations and individuals call on President Xi Jinping to release all lawyers and others unlawfully detained.

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