Wang Quanzhang – Apelo
Minister of the Ministry of Public Security
14 Dong Chang’anjie
Beijing Shi 100741
People’s Republic of China
Local e data
I am writing to call your attention to the case of Wang Quanzhang, a human rights lawyer who defended religious practitioners and social activists. He has been held incommunicado by the authorities since August 2015. He is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. I urge you to ensure that Wang Quanzhang has access to his family and lawyers of his choice, and he is protected from torture and other ill-treatment.
Prior to his arrest, Wang Quanzhang defended practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual movement outlawed in China, and members of the New Citizens’ Movement, a network of grassroots activists who promoted government transparency and exposed corruption. Due to his role in representing such cases, Wang Quanzhang faced frequent incidents of intimidation, including being expelled from a courtroom and beaten by police.
Wang Quanzhang was formally arrested in January 2016 and indicted on 14 February 2017 on the charge of “subverting state power”. Since he was taken away in August 2015, detention centres have continued to reject meeting requests made by lawyers hired by his family. Although a government-appointed lawyer claimed to have met Wang Quanzhang in July 2017, Li Wenzu, Wang Quanzhang’s wife, said that the family had yet to receive any information on his physical and mental condition, because his family and family-hired lawyers have not been allowed to meet him.
Some lawyers who were targeted in the nationwide and unprecedented lawyers’ crackdown since July 2015 stated that they were tortured and ill-treated during detention. Xie Yang’s defense lawyers published a report in January 2017 that Xie Yang had suffered from lengthy interrogation, beatings, and deprivation of water and sleep. During the trial in May 2017 however, Xie Yang stated that he was not tortured. The conflicting accounts, and the fact that Xie Yang has been denied access to lawyers of his choice since 28 February 2017, brings into question whether his testimony was coerced. Lawyers Li Heping and Xie Yanyi also revealed that they were forced fed medicine and tortured during detention.
Access to legal counsel of one’s choosing and freedom from torture and other ill-treatment are rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which China signed in 1998 and has repeatedly stated the intention to ratify. I urge you to ensure that Wang Quanzhang has access to his family and lawyers of his choice, and is protected from torture and other ill-treatment.
Yours sincerely, Name: