Trial against Wang Quanzhang
The trial against human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang started on 26 December 2018, the day after Christmas day. At the end of the day, the official website of the No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court of Tianjin posted a short announcement that the case’s verdict would be handed down at a later date. This was reported by the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group on their website.
Wang Quanzhang is a human rights lawyer who has a history of taking on sensitive cases, including defending Falun Gong practitioners, investigative journalists and democracy advocates.
In August 2015, police arrested Wang Quanzhang in the context of the ‘709 crackdown’. He disappeared for months before he was charged in January 2016 with ‘subversion of state power’. Before the start of the trial, Wang Quanzhang had been held incommunicado for over three years and without any form of due process. He was not given access to an independent legal counsellor of his choosing and has been denied access to his family lawyer, who was allegedly intimidated into withdrawing from his case.
The trial against Wang Quanzhang on 26 December 2018 was held behind closed doors. Mr Wang’s wife Li Wenzu, who has not seen him since he disappeared in 2015, was prevented by the police from attending the trial. Journalists and foreign diplomats have also been barred from entering the courthouse in the northern city of Tianjin.
Lawyers for Lawyers has grave concerns about the situation of Wang Quanzhang. We have been calling for his release since his disappearance in 2015, most recently on 10 December 2018. We will continue to closely monitor the situation of Wang Quanzhang.
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