ICC Note: Wang Quanzhang, a Chinese Christian human rights lawyer who was detained during a wave of police raids launched in 2015 targeting lawyers, continues to be denied legal service. His defense attorneys were once more denied to enter a detention center and were told by the authorities that they will not be allowed to see Mr. Wang. Since his arrest, his wife Li Wenzu has also been targeted by the authorities – she was harassed and pressured to leave rented houses. Wang is one of 10 nominees for the Dutch government’s Human Rights Tulip award this year for defending spiritual groups persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party, such as Christians and Falun Gong practitioners.
12/6/2017 China (Radio Free Asia) – More than two years after his “disappearance” amid a nationwide police operation targeting Chinese human rights lawyers in 2015, detained lawyer Wang Quanzhang continues to be denied access to a defense attorney.
Defense attorneys Lin Qilei and Cheng Hai, who were hired by Wang’s family to represent him, were once more denied entry to the No. 1 Detention Center in the northern port city of Tianjin after they tried to visit him there this week.
“We went to the armed police sentry station [at the gates of the detention center] and they just kept telling us to wait,” Lin told RFA. “We heard nothing.”
“Then they told us we could leave or keep waiting there, but that they were shutting up for the day, and that we wouldn’t be allowed to see [Wang],” he said.
Wang was initially detained amid a wave of police raids launched in July 2015 on suspicion of “incitement to subvert state power.” Lawyers have made some 50 attempts to visit him in detention since then.
His case was passed over the prosecution last February, but no trial date has been forthcoming.
Wang’s wife Li Wenzu has also been targeted for repeated harassment by police, who have forced her to leave rented accommodation several times since his detention, by putting pressure on her landlords.
Li told RFA that she believes her husband will refuse to “confess” to the charges against him, a course of action that has led to many other lawyers being released on bail, with continuing restrictions on themselves and their families.
“He is a very strong-minded person, who believes that all of his actions have been within the law, and that he hasn’t broken the law in any way,” she said. “I’m pretty sure he has refused to confess throughout the two years that they have had him locked up in there.”
Fellow defense attorney Cheng Hai said Wang’s defense team will continue to lodge complaints about being denied access to their client.