China Holds Hush-Hush Trial of Rights Lawyer

Wang Quanzhang already has been held for 3 years
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2018 9:03 AM CST
Human Rights Lawyer Held 3 Years Goes on Trial in China
In this 2015 photo, Wang Quanzhang, left, and his wife, Li Wenzu, pose for a photo with their son at a park in eastern China's Shandong province.   (Wang Quanxiu via AP)

(Newser) – A human rights lawyer detained three years ago in China finally got his day in court Wednesday, but not even his wife knows how it went. The proceedings for Wang Quanzhang, accused of subversion, were closed to the public, reports the New York Times, and police would not even let his wife, Li Wenzu, leave her apartment in Beijing. "This whole process has been illegal, so how could I expect an open and fair trial?" she tells the Times. "But my demand is still that he be freed as not guilty, because that’s what he is." The court in the port city of Tianjin where his trial was heard said it would release the verdict at a later date.

The 42-year-old Wang, known for defending members of the banned Falun Gong movement, was one of more than 200 human rights lawyers rounded up in 2015, reports CNN. Others were released after making televised confessions, but Wang has remained in custody. That the trial took place the day after Christmas is no coincidence—Beijing typically holds dissident trials around this time, when the international media is not as prevalent, notes CNN. Still, protesters gathered outside the court Wednesday, while a researcher for Amnesty International denounced the trial as a "sham" and said Wang "is being persecuted only for peacefully defending human rights." (Read more China stories.)

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