12/19/2018, 09.48
HONG KONG - CHINA
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Hong Kong lawyers demand freedom for Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang

Wang has been in prison for three years. He is not allowed to have an attorney or visits from his wife. An open letter from over 20 lawyers around the world calling on Xi Jinping to respect "the rule of law".

Hong Kong (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Two groups gathering Hong Kong lawyers and prosecutors, the Bar Association and the Law Society, have demanded that the human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, imprisoned in China for over three years on charges of having threatened national security, be released.

Wang Quanzhang, one of the more than 300 human rights lawyers arrested in July 2015, the so-called "709" group (so called from the date when the campaign against them began, July 9, 2015).

More than three years after his arrest, Wang has not yet gone to trial. Instead he has been forced into isolation: he has been denied the right of a legal representative and his wife, Li Wenzu is not allowed to see him.

Many of the lawyers arrested - at least 50% - are Christians (Protestants and Catholics) who use the bottlenecks of Chinese law to defend communities, priests and pastors from the abuses of local authorities. Several of them defended the Zhejiang communities during the cross-destruction campaign. Wang Quanzhang, for example, in his career defended members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement, which is outlawed as well as peasants whose land was requisitioned.

Last week, legal groups from all over the world - more than 20 groups - sent a joint letter to President Xi Jinping to request the release of Wang and other human rights lawyers, calling for an end to harassment for Li Wenzu,

To be precise, the Hong Kong Law Society does not ask for the release of Wang, but asks China to respect the legal system. In the past, Beijing has often claimed to be a country where "the rule of law" applies.

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