Jailed human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang forced to take medication

According to prison doctors, Wang suffers from high blood pressure. His wife, Li Wenzu, fears he might end up like other forcibly medicated lawyers who now show signs of schizophrenia.

BEIJING (AsiaNews/RFA) – Human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, who has been held without trial for three years in a secret place, is being forced to take unknown medication that could jeopardise his health.

Wang disappeared three years ago during a police crackdown against a group of about 300 human rights lawyers (the so-called operation 709).  A few days ago, he was allowed to see his lawyer Liu Weiguo for the first time.

Liu told Wang's wife, Li Wenzu, that her husband is well and alive, but that is he also being forced to take medication.

According to the prison doctors, Wang is taking medication because he has high blood pressure.  Li Wenzu notes that her husband had never had blood problems before going to prison.

She now fears that he too might end up like Li Heping and his brother Li Chunfu, human rights lawyers who were forced to take psychotropic drugs in prison.

Because of this, Li Chunfu, who was released after “confessions”, is showing signs of schizophrenia.

In order to get police to disclose Wang’s whereabouts, Li Wenzu organised a march from Beijing to Tianjin but was forced to stop and placed under house arrest.