Wives of Detained Lawyers Meet With UK Foreign Secretary

ICC Note: The wives of prominent Chinese rights lawyers, including imprisoned Christian lawyer Wang Quanzhang’s wife met with U.K. foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt on July 30 during his trip to China. They continue to call for international media attention to the plight of their husbands who were tortured and forced to take medication in jail.

08/01/2018 China (Radio Free Asia) – The wives of prominent Chinese human rights lawyers have called for continuing international media attention on the plight of their husbands, many of whom have suffered torture and forced medication while behind bars in a nationwide crackdown launched in July 2015.

Li Wenzu, wife of detained rights attorney Wang Quanzhang, said a group of lawyers’ wives had met with U.K. foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt during his trip to China.

“At 4:00 p.m. on July 30, 2018, we were honored to meet the new U.K. foreign secretary and the British Ambassador to Beijing,” Li reported via her Twitter account following the meeting.

“I briefed the Minister and the Ambassador in detail on the three years since Wang’s disappearance, and on recent developments,” Li wrote. “The Minister expressed his sincere concern.”

“We also expressed our sincere gratitude to the Minister and Ambassador for the high level and continuing concern shown by the British government over the detention of lawyers since July 2015, and for the British government’s concern  for human rights in China,” she said, adding a group photo from the meeting.

Formerly detained lawyer Wang Yu, Li Heping’s wife Wang Qiaoling and Yu Wensheng’s wife Xu Yan were also present.

Wang Qiaoling said the meeting lasted just under one hour.

“My husband was caught in the July 2015 crackdown,” she said. “He was tortured for 22 months and held in total isolation from the outside world, before he was released.”

“I used to be a housewife, but since the crackdown, I have learned a lot of things,” Wang said. “Our legal rights and interests have been seriously violated.”

“International attention over our cases, and concern from international media and Western democratic nations that have the rule of law have been a force for good,” she said.

But she declined to say what promises Hunt had made during the meeting.

“Yes, he did, but I don’t feel able to say any more right now,” Wang said.

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