Zhou Shifeng released from prison
Lawyers for Lawyers welcomes the news that the Chinese human rights lawyer Zhou Shifeng has been was released from prison after seven years on 24 September 2022. Zhou Shifeng has been arrested on 4 August 2016 in the aftermath of the ‘709 Crackdown’.
Zhou Shifeng is a prominent human rights lawyer in the People’s Republic of China and the former head of the Beijing Fengrui Law Firm, known for the defence of politically sensitive human rights cases. Furthermore, he was a member of the ‘Rights Defense Movement’ (Weiquan movement), a legal activist movement for the defense of civil rights. On 4 August 2016, Zhou Shifeng was sentenced, after pleading guilty to a seven-years sentence for subversion. On 27 September 2022, more than seven years after his arrest, he has been released after completing his sentence. However, Zhou Shifeng is still subject to a deprivation of his political rights for a period of five years which allows the government to impose restrictions on and monitor his freedom of movement, expression, association and assembly.
Zhou Shifeng has been arrested in the aftermath of the ‘709 Crackdown’ in 2015. On 9 July 2015, more than 300 lawyers and human rights defenders were arrested, deprived of their freedom and prosecuted for crimes such as ‘subversion of state power’, by the Chinese authorities.
Lawyers for Lawyers welcomes the release of Zhou Shifeng. However, Lawyers for Lawyers is concerned about the continued surveillance and deprivation of Mr Zhou’s rights after his release.
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