08/02/2016, 09.49
CHINA
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Amid many injustices, trial of Human Rights lawyer opens

Zhai Yanmin is accused of "subversion of state power." Last year about 300 lawyers arrested. Dozens more in police custody. The authorities have never allowed the relatives of the detainees to visit them; They seized the wives and even small children of some to bend them to confess their "crimes". Wang Yu's "confession".

Tianjin (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The trial of the activist lawyer Zhai Yanmin opened in Tianjin this morning. Zhai is one of hundreds of lawyers who since last year have been arrested, dismissed from the profession, imprisoned. He is accused of "subversion of state power" and faces a life sentence.

Zhai belongs to a group of arrested lawyers, called the "709", because the arrests began on July 9 last year. Their "bad luck" is that they have been successful in defending activists, the poor, people who have suffered injustices (unpaid wages, houses seized, etc ...) taking advantage of the few footholds in Chinese law and creating holes in the alliance between the party and economic oligarchies.

The Chinese authorities have done everything possible to stifle the group: they never allowed the families of the detainees to visit them; they kidnapped the wife and even small children of some to bend them to confess their "crimes".

In this regard, yesterday lawyer Wang Yu (see photo), a colleague of Zhai, formally arrested earlier this year, but who had "disappeared" six months earlier appeared in a video. The son of Wang, who fled to Myanmar, was extradited, traced in China and arrested.

In the video Wang Yu says she wants to leave the legal profession and accuses her firm, the Fengrui, of being an instrument of "foreign forces" to discredit the People's Republic of China. For many observers, Wang's "confession" was obtained by force.

Among the lawyers arrested in 2015 there is also the Christian lawyer Zhang Kai, who along with a group of colleagues had pledged to stop the campaign of demolition of crosses in the southern province of Zhejiang. He also released a "confession" admitting to all his mistakes.

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