(Beijing) Yu Wensheng and Xu Yan’s lawyers recently attempted to meet with their clients. However, the authorities in charge of the case ignored and rejected their legal right to visitation. The lawyers submitted written materials and demanded supervision in the illegal aspects of the case.
Endangering National Security
As invited participants in activities organized by European and American institutions in China, human rights lawyers Yu Wensheng and Xu Yan were both arrested and detained. The Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group revealed that the lawyer representing Yu Wensheng twice went to visit the detention center and the Shijingshan Sub-bureau of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau. They asked to meet with Yu Wensheng, but the authorities refused, citing the upcoming addition of a new charge of “endangering national security.” Public security threatened the attorneys, saying they would not pass their annual license.
Such rhetoric from the government officials has led to speculations among the outside world about whether Yu Wensheng and Xu Yan’s arrests will have the addition of the charge of “inciting subversion of state power.” When their appointed lawyers inquired about this matter, the police refused to provide any information.
The end of a normal life
Before the arrests of Yu Wensheng and Xu Yan, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sent people to harass Xu Yan, the wife of Yu Wensheng, in their residential area. They disrupted her normal life, blocking roads, restricting her movement, and staging fake slip-and-fall accidents. Police also installed surveillance devices.
On April 13, 2023, Yu Wensheng and Xu Yan were invited to meet with EU delegates in China. While they traveled on the subway, plainclothes national security officers intercepted the couple. They took them to the Bajiao Police Station in Shijingshan District, Beijing for an informal verbal subpoena. Shortly after, they were criminally detained on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” A moment before his arrest on the subway, Yu Wensheng tweeted, “We have been taken away.” This arrest comes only a few months after his previous release. Before this, he had already been sentenced to two prison terms.
The following day, their residence was searched by the police who neither presented any written documents nor allowed photographs to be taken. They only informed their son who just reached the age of 18, about the criminal detention of Yu Wensheng and Xu Yan. After that, they left their son by himself with four police officers to keep watch over him.
Blacklist of police
Human rights activists have exposed a “blacklist” of Chinese police officers. It is known that a police officer named Lu Kai persecuted “709” lawyers and Xu Yan. He is an enforcer for the Shijingshan Sub-bureau of Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, in the house arrest of lawyer Wang Quanzhang and his family.
~Gao Zhensai, Special Correspondent Gao Zhensai of ChinaAid