China: Wives of detained human rights lawyers in China fight on a year after husbands held by authorities

July 7, 2016


Monitored, scared and made to feel like criminals, the women’s only offence is to be married to lawyers and activists detained by China’s Communist authorities. But a year after their husbands disappeared, they are defiant.

The men represented some of China’s most vulnerable people until they were held in a crackdown last year that swept up more than 200 attorneys and rights campaigners.

About a dozen are still held in near total isolation and accused of subverting state power, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, while their spouses are subject to constant surveillance.

This week five of them donned dresses emblazoned with their husbands’ names and marched to a national prosecutors’ office in Beijing , surrounded by dozens of police.

They clutched handwritten letters of complaint, accusing authorities in Tianjin, where all but one of the men are held , of a litany of procedural errors.

The women emerged disappointed, still holding their letters, after officials refused to even read them.


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