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Fri, 29 May 2020

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Bar Council expresses grave concerns about Chinese human rights lawyer, Wang Quanzhang

Bar Council

2 min read Member content

The Bar Council of England and Wales has on a number occasions raised concern about his detention and repeatedly called on Chinese authorities to abide by its international obligations.


The Bar Council of England and Wales expresses grave concerns about the recent conviction of Chinese human rights lawyer, Wang Quanzhang.

Mr Quanzhang was found guilty of ‘subversion of state power’ and sentenced to 4 years and 6 months in prison by the Tianjin Municipal No.2 Intermediate People’s Court. Mr Quanzhang was one of the approximately 250 lawyers and human rights defenders detained in 2015 as part of the 709 crackdown, and was the last still awaiting trial. He had been held incommunicado for more than 3 years, posing serious risks to his health. The Bar Council of England and Wales has on a number occasions raised concern about his detention and repeatedly called on Chinese authorities to abide by its international obligations (see previous statements here).

Christian Wisskirchen, Head of International at the Bar Council, said:

“We are deeply concerned that despite repeated calls from the international community for Mr Wang Quanzhang’s release, the Tianjin Municipal Intermediate People’s Court have issued this decision, and particularly that the Court decided not to hold an open trial for the case. We once again urge Chinese authorities to reaffirm and ensure full respect of the fundamental rights of all human rights defenders in China, as guaranteed under its Constitution, Chinese Criminal Procedure Law, international conventions and the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.”

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