11 Jul 2015

Over 20 Chinese Human Rights Lawyers & Staff Arrested, Kidnapped or Missing

The mass arrests started since lawyer Wang Yu, her husband Bao Longjun and their young son were kidnapped on July 9 (Wang Yu’s arrest, Radio Free Asia). Their son has been released, according to information on WeChat. Her colleague at Fengrui Law Firm,  Beijing lawyer Zhou Shifeng was abducted from his hotel room on July 9, after he picked up Zhang Miao, Chinese news assistant to German magazine Die Zeit since last October for her support to Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution.

About a dozen lawyers throughout China were summoned to police station on late July 10 for interrogation, including Lu Fangzhi, Wen Donghai, Yang Jinzhu of Hunan province, Zeng Weixu of Shangdong, Xue Rongmin of Shanghai, Fu Jianbo of Chongqing, Wang Cheng of Zhejiang province, Ji Laisong of Henan province. Lawyers Zou Lihui of Fujiang province, Jiang Yongji of Gansu province have been allowed to returned home after police interrogations. Activist Ou Biaofeng @oubiaofeng Tweeted around 2:50am quoting Yang Jinzhu who’s under interrogation at a police station in Hunan province as saying the Domestic Security officers told him lawyer Zhou Shifeng has committed “severe criminal offence”, according to a decree issued by Beijing.

Wang YuHuman RIghts Lawyer Wang Yu

Renowned legal scholar and lawyer Zhang Xuezhong is suspected to have been detained. The police broke into Zhang’s home, and homes of lawyer Li Dawei in Gansu province, lawyer Guo Xiongwei in Hunan province. Police ransacked a dozen lawyers’ homes in Chongqing city, Yunnan, Hunan, Shangdong, Zhejiang, Henan provinces. According to New York-based activist Wen Yunchaos Tweet @wenyunchao, Chongqing human rights lawyer You Feizhu wrote: “There’re guests outside the door…I firmly believe I’m innocent. You need to firmly believe that, too! I love this country and the people on this land deeply. What I’ve been doing, is just trying to make this country and lives of ordinary people a bit better.”

The mass arrests and kidnapping by Chinese police followed last Wednesday’s passing of National Security Law which lawyers and scholars say gives Beijing more legitimacy to create a garrison state. “This law will legitimize the abuse of power by state and public security bureaus,” said prominent human rights lawyer Teng Biao, who was detained before.