(Photo: Human Rights Tulip/Safeguard Defenders)
(Beijing—April 11, 2018) The wife of a missing human rights lawyer has been placed under house arrest today after attempting a march from Beijing to Tianjin in defense of her husband.
Li Wenzu has not seen her husband, Wang Quanzhang, in the more than 1,000 days since he was seized as part of a nationwide crackdown on human rights lawyers in August 2015. Wang’s current location is unknown, and he has not been allowed contact with his legal representation and loved ones for the entire duration of his imprisonment.
Desperate to know about his condition, Li organized a march from Beijing to Tianjin, a 71-mile trek. Li believes her husband is being held in Tianjin and was followed by reporters and friends as she set out from the Supreme People’s Court in Beijing a week ago, holding their young child.
Now, a week into her trip, officers wearing street clothes seized Li and returned her to Beijing, where they have sequestered her in her home and not permitted her to leave, according to Reuters. Wang Qiaoling, the wife of human rights lawyer Li Heping, who was also taken in the 2015 crackdown but has since been released, told Reuters, “Li Wenzu has been placed under house arrest, with state security blocking the door.”
According to a video clip that Li Wenzu’s supporters gave to Reuters, she is seen on her balcony, saying “My husband has been held for over 1,000 days and I don’t know if he’s even alive or dead. I went to find my husband – what have I done wrong?”
ChinaAid urges the Chinese Communist Party to unconditionally free Li Wenzu and her husband, Wang Quanzhang, and exposes this abuse enacted against them in order to support them in their fight for religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.