Letter on the ongoing detention and judicial harassment of Qin Yongpei
In a letter to the Chinese authorities Lawyers for Lawyers expressed concern about the ongoing detention and judicial harassment of Chinese human rights lawyer Qin Yongpei.
- Foto taken from Front Line Defenders
In his legal career, Qin Yongpei has defended various other human rights lawyers facing reprisals from the authorities, provided legal assistance to vulnerable groups, and took up cases involving unlawful administrative detention, industrial pollution, forced demolition of housing, and wrongful convictions. He is the founder and director of the Guangxi Baijuming Law Firm.
Following the widespread crackdown targeting Chinese human rights lawyers launched in July 2015, the Chinese authorities revoked Qin Yongpei’s lawyers license without formal notice and ordered him to shut down his law firm.
On 31 October 2019, Qin Yongpei was detained in an apparent retaliation for criticising the corruption of high-level Chinese officials on social media. Consequently, the police raided his office. More than a month after being taken in for detention, Qin Yongpei was formally arrested on 3 December 2019 for “inciting subversion of state power” and has been in police custody since then.
The Nanning police has continuously refused requests by Qin Yongpei’s two lawyers to meet their client and took Qin Yongpei’s two daughters in for questioning.
On 2 March 2020, the Nanning Municipal Public Security Bureau in Guangxi province formally transferred the case to the Nanning Municipal People’s Procuratorate for review for prosecution.
It was reported that on 10 April 2020, Qin Yongpei’s lawyer was informed by the Nanning procuratorate that it had returned the case to the Nanning police for additional investigation on 3 April 2020. It was also reported by Qin Yongpei’s lawyer that the Nanning No. 1 Detention Centre is barring him from meeting Qin Yongpei to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In the letter, Lawyers for Lawyers highlighted the measures that were taken against Qin Yongpei and called upon the Chinese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Qin Yongpei and to put an end to all acts of harassment against him to ensure that he is able to carry out his work without hindrance or fear of reprisal. Moreover, we urged the authorities to guarantee in all circumstances the physical integrity and psychological well-being of Qin Yongpei.
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