Fourth Anniversary of the 709

On this fourth anniversary of the Chinese government’s July 9, 2015 crackdown on defense lawyers and rights defenders, we remain deeply disturbed by China’s continued detention of its own citizens who worked with in China’s legal system to defend their fellow citizens’ rights and advance the rule-of-law. The “709 crackdown” began when the Chinese police detained an estimated 300 human rights lawyers, advocates, and activists for interrogation, and reportedly subjected them to physical abuse. Many were held for extended periods in incommunicado detention with no access to legal representation before being released, and several are still being detained. We rejoin our call, together with human rights groups and other governments, for Chinese authorities to release immediately lawyers and their defense teams detained during the “709” arrests.