Wang Quanzhang: China releases jailed human rights lawyer

Activists hold a placard of detained Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang at a rally outside Chinese Liaison Office in Hong Kong on December 26, 2018Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Activists have tirelessly campaigned for Wang Quanzhang’s launch

A number one Chinese human rights lawyer sentenced to greater than 4 years in jail for subversion has been launched.

However, Wang Quanzhang has not been allowed to be reunited together with his household at their home within the capital, Beijing.

Instead he has been escorted to town of Jinan, 250 miles (400km) away in Shandong province, his spouse Li Wenzu says.

She mentioned he had been instructed to spend 14 days in quarantine as a precaution in opposition to the coronavirus.

Ms Li mentioned she feared her husband can be positioned underneath de-facto home arrest and put underneath surveillance.

Mr Wang was detained together with greater than 200 others in a infamous crackdown on Chinese activists in 2015.

He had defended political campaigners and victims of land seizures, in addition to followers of the banned religious Falun Gong motion.

For greater than three years, Mr Wang’s household didn’t know whether or not he was useless or alive. He was lastly placed on trial early final yr and sentenced to 4 and a half years in jail.

“I think (authorities) have been lying to us step by step,” Ms Li instructed AFP information company.

“They used the pretext of the epidemic as an excuse to quarantine him for 14 days when he should have been able to return to his home in Beijing according to the relevant legal guidelines.”

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Li Wenzu retains a household image and her husband’s detention discover

Chinese authorities haven’t commented on the lawyer’s launch.

“I am really worried they plan on putting him under long-term house arrest and will prevent us from being reunited as a family,” mentioned Ms Li, who has lengthy campaigned for her husband’s freedom.

“His speech is being restricted. He phoned me yesterday saying he would go to Jinan. Is this what a rational person would do after being separated from their wife and child for almost five years?”

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Media captionMr Wang’s spouse and her associates shave their heads to protest in opposition to his detention

After his arrest, Mr Wang was discovered responsible of subverting state energy by a court docket in Tianjin. The trial was carried out behind closed doorways with journalists and overseas diplomats barred from the courthouse. Ms Li, who was additionally banned from attending, shaved her head in protest in opposition to his detention.

Rights teams condemned the trial with Amnesty International calling it a “sham” and the decision “a gross injustice”.

On Sunday, the European Union welcomed Mr Wang’s launch as a “positive development”, however mentioned stories of his mistreatment whereas in detention have to be investigated.

“The European Union expects that Mr Wang’s release will be unconditional, with particular regard to his freedom of movement and to establish residence, including the possibility to reunite with his family,” it mentioned in an announcement.