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【Joint Statement Upon the Upcoming Trial of Wang Quanzhang, who has been Held Incommunicado for over Three Years】

Li Wenzu, the wife of detained human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, received a message from lawyer Liu Weiguo on 24 December informing her that Wang, who has been held incommunicado for 1264 days, will go on trial at the Second Intermediate People's Court of Tianjin at 8:30 am on 26 December 2018. Prior to this, on 10 December 2018, 20 lawyers’ associations from all over the world released an open letter to President Xi Jinping urging for the immediate release of lawyer Wang.


Lawyer Wang was taken away by the police on 3 August 2015 during the 709 crackdown and was subsequently formally arrested on the charge of "subversion of state power" in January 2016. During the entire detention period, the Chinese government has denied Wang’s access to his family and family-appointed defense lawyers as well as the communication to the outside world. Therefore, the detention of Wang imposed by the authorities is de facto incommunicado detention.


On the other hand, the Chinese government has repeatedly imposed unilateral refusal to acknowledge the family-appointed lawyers as the legal representation of Wang, indicating that Wang has been deprived of the right to legal counsel and prevented from challenging the legality of his detention. In addition, we noticed that Wang has reportedly been subjected to torture or other forms of coercive ill-treatment during the detention.


In view of the repeated violations of Wang’s right to be free from incommunicado detention and access to legal counsel, we are convinced that lawyer Wang’s right to fair trial has never been safeguarded, which is a manifestation of non-compliance of the Criminal Procedure Law, the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and international standards. Therefore, we believe that the Chinese government should not hold any trial of Wang’s case. We hereby demand the Chinese authorities to:


1. Immediately and unconditionally release Wang Quanzhang;

2. Investigate and hold all law enforcers accountable for committing the irregularities and violations of the criminal procedure against lawyer Wang;

3. Provide appropriate remedy for the violations of rights suffered by Wang Quanzhang in detention;

4. Stop any form of harassment against Li Wenzu and their child, and condemn any future harassment of Wang’s family members by local authorities.


In the meantime, CHRLCG, TCLN, Hong Kong Alliance and HKLSD ask for the international community, the general public and media to continuously pay close attention to the upcoming developments of lawyer Wang Quanzhang


China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group (CHRLCG)

Taiwan Support China Human Rights Lawyers Network (TCLN)

Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China (HKA)

League of Social Democrats (LSD)


December 24, 2018