February 2, 2017
Against the backdrop of recently emerged reports and allegations of torture in detention of several lawyers who have been in custody since the July 2015 massive crackdown on lawyers and rights defenders, and the “release on bail” of another lawyer displaying severe psychological problems including violence and paranoia, the Chinese government submitted a follow-up report to the UN Committee against Torture.
On the question of the crackdown on lawyers that has continued to be a focus of concern and criticism from many governments and legal professional circles around the world, the report—submitted in Chinese only, which HRIC has translated into English (see excerpts below)—categorically denies the crackdown. It states: “There is no ‘suppression’ of ‘rights defense lawyers’ or ‘activists’ by the Chinese government.” (中国政府不存在对所谓的“维权律师”和“活动人士”进行“打压”的情况。)
Regarding a detainee’s right to meet with lawyers, the report asserts: “In practice . . . public security and procuratorial organs comply strictly with the relevant provisions and take various measures to guarantee the right to meet with lawyers, in accordance with the law.” But in reality, two of the three lawyers who are still held—Li Heping (李和平) and Wang Quanzhang (王全璋)—have had no access to their lawyers during their one-and-a-half years’ detention. And their families have never even been officially notified of their detention.