(Photo: Human Rights Tulip/Safeguard Defenders)
(Tianjin—July 20, 2018) Li Wenzu spent the last three years wondering if her husband, imprisoned human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, was even alive. The attorney, who went missing during a nationwide crackdown in 2015, was spotted earlier this week in a detention center in Tianjin. An interview with his lawyer revealed that authorities forced him to take unknown medication, a Radio Free Asia [RFA] report said.
Wang vanished in August 2015, a month after China began systematically rounding up, framing, and imprisoning its human rights activists in an attempt to silence dissent. Since then, Li, who has since given birth to the couple’s son, has had no news of her husband. He was not even granted a lawyer’s visit.
Earlier this week, Li’s trusted friend spotted Wang in Tianjin No. 1 Detention Center, reporting that he appeared to be in good health. However, when Wang’s lawyer, Liu Weiguo, was finally allowed to meet with him, he told Li her husband seemed afraid to speak, instead mouthing much of the conversation. Although Liu had trouble understanding Wang, he said his client told him that he had been diagnosed with high blood pressure and was being forced to take unknown medicine.
Li told RFA, “I became very worried when I heard that he was being given medication, because the lawyers who were released after the July 2015 crackdown, including rights lawyer Li Heping, said that they were forced to take medication during their time in detention … A lot of those people were in good health before they were detained, and didn’t have high blood pressure, but they somehow all developed it after they were detained.”
Even though Liu was permitted an audience with Wang, the prisoner’s other lawyer, who had been hired by his wife, remains barred from seeing him.
ChinaAid has been following Wang’s case in order to expose his mistreatment at the hands of the Chinese government and advocate for human rights, religious freedom, and rule of law.