STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Beijing puts human rights lawyer on trial day after Christmas

A high-profile Chinese human rights lawyer detained more than three years ago faced trial Wednesday, the lat...

Posted: Dec 27, 2018 2:42 PM
Updated: Dec 27, 2018 2:42 PM

A high-profile Chinese human rights lawyer detained more than three years ago faced trial Wednesday, the latest prominent detainee sent to court by the ruling Communist Party over the Christmas period.

Wang Quanzhang was taken into custody in July 2015, one of more than 200 lawyers and activists detained as part of a mass crackdown on human rights defenders across China.

Asia

Beijing

China

Christmas

Continents and regions

Court trials

East Asia

Holidays and observances

Human rights

International relations and national security

Law and legal system

Trial and procedure

Civil disobedience

Protests and demonstrations

Society

Wang, known for his advocacy of practitioners of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement and Christians, is the last lawyer still behind bars as part of the sweep.

As the trial was taking place, protesters, some of whom had traveled from other cities, gathered outside the court in Tianjin.

Many were quickly bundled into police cars and taken away amid a heavy security presence surrounding the court.

China regularly sends high-profile detainees and dissidents to court around the Christmas period, taking advantage of the large absence of the international media and diplomatic community.

Human rights activist Wu Gan was sentenced to eight years in prison on Christmas Day in 2017, while Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo was imprisoned on the same day in 2009.

Doriane Lau, China researcher with Amnesty International, said in a statement Wang's trial was a "cruel charade" and called for him to be released "immediately."

"This is a sham trial in which Wang Quanzhang is being persecuted only for peacefully defending human rights," Lau said. Lau said there was a "grave risk" Wang had been tortured and mistreated in detention.

Wang's trial began on Wednesday morning local time, and was held behind closed doors due to the nature of the charges. He is being accused of "subversion of state power."

A statement from the Tianjin 2nd Intermediate People's Court on Wednesday afternoon said the trial had concluded and a verdict would be released "at a chosen date."

Wang's wife, Li Wenzu, has been campaigning relentlessly for his release ever since her husband's detention. In April she marched from Beijing to Tianjin on foot to "find her husband."

She was one of four spouses of high-profile human rights lawyers who protested against their detention in front of the Supreme People's Court on December 17, publicly shaving their heads in protest as the word "hairlessness" sounds similar to "lawlessness" in Chinese.

Due to the tight control of China's authoritarian government and harsh penalties for protesting, public demonstrations in China over politically sensitive topics are rare.

After security guards stopped her from presenting a letter petitioning for her husband, Li said judges had behaved in a "lawless" manner around Wang's trial.

"It has been almost two years since the case of Wang Quanzhang was filed to the court, but the judges in charge of this case have been avoiding meeting us, and our lawyer is not allowed to see the court paper," she said at the protest.

"This case has been endlessly delayed ... so I came here today to ask the Supreme Court to fulfill its responsibility of supervising and to correct the subordinate court's unlawful behaviors."

Li was also visited by German Chancellor Angela Merkel during her last visit to China in May.

Lafayette
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 50°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 40°
Rensselaer
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 38°
Lafayette
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 50°
Danville
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 40°
Frankfort
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 38°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 37°
Monticello
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 40°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 40°
Logansport
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 32°
Freezing to 80s & Storms...
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 710607

Reported Deaths: 13248
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion968581722
Lake51908949
Allen39337672
Hamilton34643406
St. Joseph34306543
Elkhart27477432
Vanderburgh22099394
Tippecanoe21927213
Porter17987301
Johnson17571374
Hendricks16854310
Clark12715190
Madison12367337
Vigo12240244
Monroe11510166
LaPorte11204204
Delaware10382184
Howard9698211
Kosciusko9165114
Hancock8014139
Bartholomew7913155
Warrick7702155
Floyd7568176
Wayne6917198
Grant6855171
Boone6568100
Morgan6414138
Dubois6091117
Marshall5801109
Dearborn571276
Cass5698104
Henry5588101
Noble543683
Jackson494172
Shelby481395
Lawrence4349118
Gibson429589
Harrison429171
Clinton420953
Montgomery418986
DeKalb413284
Whitley382239
Huntington379780
Miami373365
Knox367189
Steuben367157
Putnam353460
Jasper352546
Wabash348178
Adams338253
Ripley335469
Jefferson318080
White308854
Daviess289999
Wells286881
Decatur279592
Fayette277362
Greene271085
Posey269533
Scott261553
Clay255445
LaGrange255470
Randolph236080
Washington231631
Spencer228131
Jennings225448
Fountain209345
Sullivan208042
Starke206252
Owen192756
Fulton192140
Jay186429
Carroll186120
Perry181436
Orange178353
Rush170824
Vermillion166343
Franklin166035
Tipton161543
Parke144616
Blackford133931
Pike130734
Pulaski114345
Newton104234
Brown100740
Crawford97914
Benton97413
Martin83115
Warren80215
Switzerland7698
Union70110
Ohio56011
Unassigned0408

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events