Chinese rights lawyer jailed for 'subversion'

World

28 Jan 2019

Noted Chinese human rights lawyer sentenced to 4.5 years jail-time

Prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang was sentenced today to 4.5 years in prison for state subversion, a northern Chinese court said.

Wang, 42, who defended political activists and victims of land seizures, disappeared in a 2015 sweep -- known as the "709" crackdown -- aimed at courtroom critics of Communist authorities.

Wang was charged in January 2016 with alleged state subversion.

Details

Wang was detained for two years without a trial date

Wang had been the last of over 200 lawyers and activists arrested in the 709 crackdown to be tried or released.

Wang was "found guilty of subverting state power, sentenced to four years and six months in prison, and deprived of political rights for five years," the Tianjin Second Intermediate People's Court said.

For two years, he was detained without a trial date.

Steps taken

Wang's wife was kept under house-arrest, prevented from attending hearing

After over two years of being in that legal limbo, Wang's court hearing took place behind closed doors in Tianjin on December 26.

At the time, the court said the trial was closed to the public "due to the state secrets involved".

Wang's wife Li Wenzu was placed under de facto house arrest the day before her husband's trial to prevent her from attending.

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Protest

Wife protested Wang's detention, attempted to walk 100kms in protest

Li has actively protested her husband's detention.

In April last year, she attempted to march 100 kilometres (60 miles) to the detention facility in Tianjin, 131.5kms from capital city Beijing, where her husband had been held.

In December, before Wang's court date was announced, Li and three supporters shaved their heads and tried to submit a petition to a Beijing court protesting Wang's detention.

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