01/30/2018, 15.16
CHINA

Human rights lawyer Yu Wensheng detained on subversion charges

Yu has lost his license to practice. He was moved Jiangxi. His wife has been told not to speak with foreign media. The crime of "opinion" has become a crime of "subversion". Yu wants an end to the Communist Party's monopoly of power over the military and society.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – Yu Wensheng, a human rights lawyer arrested for obstructing a public service, has seen his charges upgraded to "inciting subversion of state power". He was arrested on 19 January; a few days earlier, he lost his license to practice.

Today, his wife, Xu Yan, said that her husband was moved from Beijing to Xuzhou (Jiangx). She also said that she was told by Xuzhou police not to give interviews to foreign media.

The transfer from the capital to Xuzhou is a sign that the authorities do not want prying eyes to follow the situation and monitor the trial.

The accusation of "subversion of state power" is a typical charge imposed on the accused in order to increase penalties for crimes of opinion.

Yu Wensheng’s "subversion" consists of a letter he posted online asking the Communist Party to end its control over China’s military and give up its absolute hold on power. Yu was detained the day after he posted the open letter.

During his career, the 51-year-old lawyer has often defended clients in sensitive human rights cases involving people seen as enemies of the state, people like  farmers forced off their land, families victim of fake vaccinations, lawyers arrested in the 7/09 campaign, etc.

In 2014 police held him for 99 days after he publicly supported Occupy Central, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.

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