Joint letter to EU ahead of 2018 EU-China Summit
19 June 2018

Joint letter to EU ahead of 2018 EU-China Summit


In a joint letter, Lawyers for Lawyers, together with 23 other organizations, called on the European Union leaders should publicly and repeatedly demand that China release those deprived of their liberty for exercising human rights, including human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang.

The letter was send just before European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker, European Council President Donald Tusk, and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini will attend the EU-China Summit in Beijing with senior Chinese officials in mid-July 2018.

The human rights situation in China remains dire. The Chinese government has created a comprehensive national security legal architecture that is misused to silence dissent, censor information, and harass and prosecute human rights defenders. Authorities have subjected lawyers and human rights defenders to show trials, airing excerpted forced “confessions” on state television and social media.

It was noted by the organizations that the EU has pushed back against China’s ruthless crackdown on human rights, including through statements at the United Nations Human Rights Council, expressions of concern about individual cases, and outreach to human rights defenders. Yet the EU has not fulfilled its 2012 pledge in its Strategic Framework on Human Rights to “throw its full weight behind advocates of liberty, democracy and human rights” and to do so “in all areas of its external action without exception” in China.

The organizations urged EU leaders to take several steps, including publicly and repeatedly calling for the release of, amongst others, Wang Quanzhang, and announcing a EU strategy to ensure their releases. They also asked the EU to identify specific human rights issues that the Chinese government needs to address as a strategic priority for the EU and its member states.

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