Joint letter – Release Wang Quanzhang
In a joint letter, the International Association of Lawyers (UIA), the Law Society of England and Wales, Lawyers for Lawyers, the German Bar Association (Deutscher Anwaltverein) and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada expressed concerns about the recent conviction and sentencing of lawyer Wang Quanzhang.
On 28 January 2019, the Tianjin Municipal No.2 Intermediate People’s Court found prominent human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang guilty of “subversion of state power” and sentenced him to 4 years and 6 months in prison and 5-year deprivation of political rights.
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.
In the joint letter, the International Association of Lawyers (UIA), the Law Society of England and Wales, Lawyers for Lawyers, the German Bar Association (Deutscher Anwaltverein) and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada called for the annulment of the conviction of Wang Quanzhang and for his immediate and unconditional release. Read the full letter here.
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