02/16/2017, 16.08

Human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang charged with 'inciting subversion of state power'

Wang Zhicheng

Wang is one of 300 lawyers arrested during the ‘709 crackdown’ in July 2015. He has been held incommunicado and in solitary confinement, subjected to torture.

Tianjin (AsiaNews) – Human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang has been charged with "inciting subversion of state power" and is set to go before a court in Tianjin. The same court has already convicted other lawyers sentencing them to three to seven years in jail.

Wang is part of a group of lawyers and activists arrested during a crackdown against human rights defenders referred to as 709 because it began on 9 July (2015). On that day, about 300 rights lawyers and ­activists were detained, interrogated or threatened.

Wang was one the first to be arrested and has been held incommunicado in secret locations.

At least half of them are Christian (Protestant and Catholic) lawyers who use Chinese law to protect their communities and clergymen from abuse by local authorities.

Several of them have defended Christian communities during the campaign of cross destruction countryside in Zhejiang.

Last month, activists reported that Wang and his Christian colleague, Li Heping, were subjected to torture, including electric shocks and corporal punishment.

Despite police threats, the wives of the arrested lawyers have continued to call on the international community to intervene.

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