Hong Kong’s top lawyers urge release of Chinese rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang – detained for over 3 years
The Hong Kong Bar Association (HKBA) on Tuesday urged the release of Chinese rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, who has been detained for over three years awaiting trial.
Wang was detained in August 2015 amid the “709 crackdown” – a wide-reaching clampdown on Chinese lawyers and activists which began in July that year. Wang was charged with inciting subversion of state power last February, but he was not heard from again until July this year.
The HKBA, comprised of Hong Kong’s top lawyers, said in a statement that Wang has been “held incommunicado for over three years without any form of due process,” and there were concerns about his health while in detention.
The HKBA said it had previously issued two statements in July 2015 and March 2017 respectively, calling upon the mainland to conform to due process and respect the established fundamental human rights of China’s legal professionals and citizens.
“The HKBA trusts that the relevant Mainland authorities, prosecutors and judges responsible for the conduct of the trial are fully aware of such established entitlements and calls upon them to ensure their full and proper implementation,” the statement read. “Given the length of detention of Mr Wang, the HKBA urges that Mr Wang be released as soon as possible pending trial.”
Wang’s case sparked international attention. Last week, the Human Rights Commission of the Geneva Bar Association initiated an open petition letter, supported by some national lawyers organisations across the world, calling for Wang’s immediate release.
Liu Weiguo, Wang’s lawyer before he resigned in October, was the only one who said he had seen Wang during his detention. Liu confirmed in July that Wang was still alive.