Wed, May 01, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Groups urge support for lawyer

ERASED:Wang Quanzhang was arrested in a mass crackdown by Chinese authorities in July 2015 and has not been seen by his family since, despite being sentenced to jail

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Support China Human Rights Lawyers Network convener Kuo Chi-jen, center, and Democratic Progressive Party legislators Tuan Yi-kang, second left, and Yu Mei-nu, second right, hold a news conference in Taipei yesterday in support of imprisoned Chinese lawyer Wang Quanzhang.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

Human rights groups and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday called attention to imprisoned Chinese lawyer Wang Quanzhang (王全璋), saying that his family do not know if he is alive and that the Chinese government has blocked all information regarding his case.

“We ask for Taiwanese and the international community to support this cause, as we believe Wang has been tortured and mistreated in prison, and all requests by his family to visit him have been rejected,” Taiwan Support China Human Rights Lawyers Network convener Kuo Chi-jen (郭吉仁) said.

Wang was among more than 200 human rights activists and lawyers arrested in a mass crackdown by Chinese authorities on July 9, 2015, and was the last to go on trial.

A court in Tianjin, China, in January found him guilty of “subverting state power” and sentenced him to four years and six months in prison.

“The court conducted a secret trial, and Wang’s family and lawyer did not get to see him. Chinese authorities have imposed a total ban on any information about Wang and his case,” Kuo said.

Wang’s wife, Li Wenzu (李文足), requested assistance from Taiwan and other nations in a video filmed secretly, as Chinese authorities have placed her under 24-hour guard.

“I have not seen my husband in four years, no information at all, and the authorities have blocked all forms of communication,” she says in the video.

“We checked with court officials, but there was no record of his case: no indictment or ruling statement,” she says. “It has now been 1,389 days since he was taken away and nobody has seen him since.”

DPP legislators Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) and Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) urged the Chinese government to release Wang immediately.

“We face China’s threats all the time, but some people are not aware of what can happen [under China’s rule],” Tuan said. “Too many people are kowtowing to China and only focusing on their business gains and financial benefits while our society could be facing its impending doom.”

Amnesty International and other human rights organizations have also taken up Wang’s cause.

“How can Taiwanese believe any promise or peace agreement offered by China? Beijing has been breaking its own laws every day; it is impossible for it to keep any promises,” Taiwan Association for Human Rights secretary-general Chiu Ee-ling (邱伊翎) said.

“The trial of Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang is a cruel charade, and he should be immediately and unconditionally released,” Amnesty International said in a statement last year.

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