Saturday 23 February 2019

Human rights lawyer jailed in China

Li Wenzu, the wife of prominent Chinese rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, holds a box with a family picture and the detention notice for her husband in Beijing, China. Photo: REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Li Wenzu, the wife of prominent Chinese rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, holds a box with a family picture and the detention notice for her husband in Beijing, China. Photo: REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Dake Kang in Beijing

Prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison on the charge of subversion of state power.

The sentence came more than three years after he was detained in a sweeping crackdown on the legal profession.

The court in Tianjin announced the sentence in an statement, adding that his political rights were also being withheld for five years.

Mr Wang's wife, Li Wenzu, told reporters she was worried about her husband's health while he was incarcerated.

"Wang Quanzhang has never committed a crime, but they still forcibly charged him with a crime," Ms Li said.

Mr Wang was a member of the Fengrui law firm, known for its advocacy work.

He pursued land rights cases on behalf of poor villagers and represented members of the banned Falun Gong meditation sect.

Amnesty International China researcher Doriane Lau called the verdict a "gross injustice".

Mr Wang was tried in a closed hearing last month after being held without access to his lawyers or family since 2015, when he became one of more than 200 legal activists held in a crackdown.

Irish Independent

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