Sentencing of Lawyers and Rights Activists in China

Press Statement
Elizabeth Trudeau
Director, Office of Press Relations
Washington, DC
August 8, 2016

Last week, a Chinese court convicted prominent human rights attorney Zhou Shifeng, director of the Fengrui law firm, and activists Hu Shigen, Zhai Yanmin, and Gou Hongguo of the apparently politically motivated charge of “subversion of state power.” More than a dozen other attorneys and activists detained on and around July 9, 2015, including Li Heping, remain in pretrial detention without access to their families or to legal counsel of their own choosing.

This campaign undermines China’s development of a judicial system that respects the rule of law. We urge Chinese authorities to release the lawyers and rights defenders who are imprisoned or in detention, including those already sentenced. We call for an immediate end to the cases brought against them and to restrictions on their freedom of movement and professional activities.