August 12, 2016
Chinese authorities are continuing to mete out punishment by association to the families of detained human rights lawyers and activists, preventing them from leaving the county on “national security” grounds, activists said.
“Collective punishment against Chinese activists means blocking family members from traveling and obtaining passports or visas,” the Chinese website Weiquanwang reported on Friday.
On Thursday, four state security police officers prevented Li Wenzu, wife of detained rights attorney Wang Quanzhang, from leaving her home with the couple’s child, her lawyer said.
“Li Wenzu was prevented from leaving her home … by four state security police, who surrounded her and wouldn’t let her call a taxi,” Wang’s defense lawyer Yu Wensheng told RFA in a recent interview.
Yu said he suspects the authorities fear Li Wenzu will seek out a lawyer for her husband or apply for information about his trial.
“I think they are hoping to try him behind closed doors, so they don’t want the family members hiring lawyers, and they don’t want to give them a permit to sit in on the trial,” he said.