China arrests human rights lawyers

Li Heping

Expose, Encourage
Seven months after authorities detained hundreds of human rights defense lawyers, other legal professionals and rights advocates, more than a dozen were formally arrested in mid-January.

China Aid has closely followed the cases of lawyers Li Heping, Wang Yu, her husband Bao Longjun, and church elder Hu Shigen since they were taken into custody in the widespread crackdown on lawyers and advocates that began on July 9, 2015.

Wang Yu, a lawyer at Fengrui Law Firm, and her husband Bao Longjun, a human rights advocate and lawyer, were formally arrested on Jan. 13. Wang was charged with “subversion of state power,” which carries a sentence of 10 years to life in prison, and Bao was charged with “inciting subversion of state power,” a lesser charge carrying a sentence of 5–15 years. Both are being held in China’s northern Tianjin Municipality.

On Jan. 14, Hu Shigen, the elder of a Beijing house church who was detained on July 10 in connection with the crackdown, was formally arrested and charged with “subversion of state power,” according to his family, who received a notice from the Tianjin Municipal Public Security Bureau.

China Aid then learned of the arrest of human rights lawyer Li Heping on Jan. 19 after Li’s wife and lawyer went to the Tianjin Municipal Detention Center No. 1 to inquire about his whereabouts. Li’s lawyer later learned from a police officer that Li’s arrest was approved on Jan. 8; however, Li’s wife did not receive the arrest notice until Jan. 20.

Other notable detainees formally arrested for “subversion of state power” include: Li Chunfu, human rights lawyer and the brother of Li Heping; Zhou Shifeng, the director of Fengrui Law Firm; Wang Quanzhang, a Fengrui Law Firm lawyer; Li Shuyun, a Fengrui Law Firm lawyer; Liu Sixin, a Fengrui Law Firm administrative assistant; and Zhao Wei, assistant to Li Heping.

Of the 19 individuals who have been formally arrested, 11 were charged with “subversion of state power.”

China Aid exposes abuses, such as those experienced by the more than 315 Chinese citizens directly affected by the July crackdown, and encourages the abused by supporting their families in order to promote religious freedom and rule of law in China.

China Aid Media Team
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