December 9, 2016
China is showing no sign of easing its crackdown on the nation’s rights defenders.
Earlier this week, rights lawyer Li Heping was officially indicted, and the whereabouts of three other rights activists, including public interest lawyer Jiang Tianyong, are unknown more than two weeks after they disappeared.
Li’s wife, Wang Qianling, learned of her husband’s indictment days after she and attorney Ma Lianshun began pressing authorities in Tianjin for an answer.
“Today [on Thursday], Ms. Wang went to [the procuratorate in] Tianjin again and confirmed that Li is formally charged with treason. No more details were given,” Ma told VOA.
Wang hired Ma to defend Li, one of the country’s best-known lawyers, who was taken away from his home in Beijing during the Communist Party’s sweeping crackdown on rights activists last July.
But the lawyer has never been allowed to meet his client, and the authorities, by putting Li in detention where he is incommunicado, have not followed due process of law.
DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER JANUARY 24, 2017 (CHINA):
(N.B. The charge is subverting state power and not treason.)