Secret detention

China’s most prominent female rights lawyer arrested for subversion

Human rights lawyer Wang Yu. (REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon)

Prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Yu has been formally arrested by Chinese authorities and accused of subverting the state, her lawyer said on Wednesday. Wang was taken into custody last July as part of a crackdown on activists who have helped people fight for their legal rights. Wang’s mother received a formal notification of the arrest from the Tianjin police on Wednesday, according to Wang’s lawyer Li Yuhan. Hundreds of lawyers were detained during the sweep, at least five of whom are now being formally arrested, after months of secret detention, on suspicion of subverting state power. Subversion charges are commonly leveled at critics of one party rule, and formal arrests usually lead to a trial and conviction by China’s party-controlled courts. Subversion of state power carries a possible life sentence. Li has not been able to see Wang since her client’s detention, and has had requests to meet Wang denied seven times in the past six months because Wang’s case “endangered state security.”

Wang has defended free speech advocate Wu Gan, prominent rights activist Li Tingting, and Cao Shunli, an activist who later died in detention. Last year, two weeks after being accused by Chinese state media of “blabbering about the rule of law and human rights,” Wang told a Reuters reporter she thought her arrest was inevitable.

Read the full story at Yahoo News.

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