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Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Face Systematic Government Crackdown

Chumthang News Service
Beijing 25 July 2015:The World Movement for Democracy strongly condemns the mass arrests and harassment of human rights lawyers and activists in China, and joins the international community in demanding that the Chinese government immediately stop the systematic crackdown on civil society in the country.

From July 10 to 17, more than 222 human rights lawyers, law firm staff, and activists in China weredetained, arrested, or summoned by the local police across the country. To date, nine lawyers and two activists have been criminally detained or put under residential surveillance, and it is feared that these lawyers and activists will face police brutality. In addition, four lawyers and eleven other activists are still incommunicado, and more than 179 persons have been temporarily detained or forcibly summoned by police. 

The list of those targeted includes Wang Yu, a prominent human rights lawyer who works for Fengrui Law Firm in Beijing, her husband and their 16-year old son, as well as her co-workers. Other renowned lawyers, such as Li Heping and Sui Muqing, were also taken by the police in Tianjin and Guangzhou, respectively. As of today, Li is still detained, Sui is under residential surveillance, and both have been threatened with the charge of "picking quarrels and provoking troubles."
 
In other areas of China, lawyers who have previously participated in human rights cases, or openly criticized officials for violating human rights, were also summoned and questioned by local police. Xie Yang, a lawyer based in Hunan,was taken away on July 11,soon after he signed a public statementwith 101 other lawyers to show solidarity with Wang Yu on July 9.

On July 1, a new national security law was passed by the National People's Congress, which allows the authorities to take official actions against potential threats to national security. Legal experts fear that the passage of this new law, with its vague provisions, will be used to justify more restrictionsand control of civil society. 

The World Movement for Democracy is very concerned that repressive measures will continue against human rights defenders in China. Please show your solidarity with the repressed lawyers, activists, and their families by sending a message to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the global community is watching and condemns the crackdown against human rights lawyers.

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