An Alexandria prosecutor’s office renewed on Tuesday the detention of Alexandrian rights lawyer Mohamed Ramadan for 15 days as he continues to suffer from a series of health complications and a lack of proper medical care in custody, according to lawyer Mahienour al-Massry.
Ramadan — who is being held in solitary confinement at the Alexandria Security Directorate in a cell with no bed — was ordered detained pending further investigations into accusations of “joining a terrorist group and promoting its ideas, spreading false news, possessing pamphlets and yellow vests to call for protests against the government, similar to the ‘Yellow Vest’ protests in France, and using social media to promote a terrorist group,” Massry said.
He was arrested on December 10 by plainclothes security personnel as he returned home after attending an interrogation session with one of his clients. He was taken to a National Security Agency (NSA) office, where he was held overnight. His whereabouts remained unknown to his family and lawyers until he appeared before the prosecution the next day, when he was ordered to be held in remand detention for 15 days.
Authorities in mainland China will start the trial of detained human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang on the morning of December 26, according to his wife Li Wenzu.
The announcement came three years after Wang was detained in the “709 crackdown” in August 2015, a wide-reaching clampdown on Chinese lawyers and activists. Wang was charged with inciting subversion of state power last February, but he was not heard from again until July this year.
Li posted on Facebook on Monday that she had received notification of Wang’s trial.
“Just now, lawyer Liu Weiguo sent me a message: trial begins at 8:30am on the 26th,” she wrote. “Wang Quanzhang was charged on Valentines Day, February 14, 2017. On Christmas Eve, December 24, 2018, I learn that his trial begins on the day after Christmas.”
“December 26 is a day with special meaning. The trial begins at 8:30, I am in Beijing and must get out early.” She added. “All are welcome to attend the trial.”
After 3.5 years human rights lawyer #WangQuanzhang will finally face trial as #China tries to hide its crime with a trial the day after Christmas. But we are not fools. The world is watching. He must be released unconditionally.https://t.co/mqgAP3Blhz
The indictment against #WangQuanzhang illustrates how #China sees independent actors strengthening domestic law as tantamount to subverting state power, demonstrating yet again the party sees the law as merely a tool of state power, which is anathema to the rule of law. https://t.co/796qkZcYdX
【Joint Statement Upon the Upcoming Trial of Wang Quanzhang, who has been Held Incommunicado for over Three Years】
Li Wenzu, the wife of detained human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, received a message from lawyer Liu Weiguo on 24 December informing her that Wang, who has been held incommunicado for 1264 days, will go on trial at the Second Intermediate People’s Court of Tianjin at 8:30 am on 26 December 2018. Prior to this, on 10 December 2018, 20 lawyers’ associations from all over the world released an open letter to President Xi Jinping urging for the immediate release of lawyer Wang.
Lawyer Wang was taken away by the police on 3 August 2015 during the 709 crackdown and was subsequently formally arrested on the charge of “subversion of state power” in January 2016. During the entire detention period, the Chinese government has denied Wang’s access to his family and family-appointed defense lawyers as well as the communication to the outside world. Therefore, the detention of Wang imposed by the authorities is de facto incommunicado detention.
On the other hand, the Chinese government has repeatedly imposed unilateral refusal to acknowledge the family-appointed lawyers as the legal representation of Wang, indicating that Wang has been deprived of the right to legal counsel and prevented from challenging the legality of his detention. In addition, we noticed that Wang has reportedly been subjected to torture or other forms of coercive ill-treatment during the detention.
In view of the repeated violations of Wang’s right to be free from incommunicado detention and access to legal counsel, we are convinced that lawyer Wang’s right to fair trial has never been safeguarded, which is a manifestation of non-compliance of the Criminal Procedure Law, the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and international standards. Therefore, we believe that the Chinese government should not hold any trial of Wang’s case. We hereby demand the Chinese authorities to:
1. Immediately and unconditionally release Wang Quanzhang;
2. Investigate and hold all law enforcers accountable for committing the irregularities and violations of the criminal procedure against lawyer Wang;
3. Provide appropriate remedy for the violations of rights suffered by Wang Quanzhang in detention;
4. Stop any form of harassment against Li Wenzu and their child, and condemn any future harassment of Wang’s family members by local authorities.
In the meantime, CHRLCG, TCLN, Hong Kong Alliance and HKLSD ask for the international community, the general public and media to continuously pay close attention to the upcoming developments of lawyer Wang Quanzhang
China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group (CHRLCG)
Taiwan Support China Human Rights Lawyers Network (TCLN)
Hong Kong Alliance
Hong Kong League of Social Democrats
December 24, 2018
Saudi authorities have released a prominent human rights lawyer seven months after he was detained in a widely condemned crackdown on dissent, campaigners said on Monday.
Ibrahim al-Modaimegh, around 80, was released after a “serious deterioration in his health”, said Prisoners of Conscience, a Saudi group that tracks political prisoners, in a development corroborated by multiple other activists.
The government has so far not offered any public explanation for his arrest or the conditions of his release.
Modaimegh was among more than a dozen activists, including several women, who were arrested in May just before the historic lifting of a decades-long ban on female motorists the following month.
After their arrest, state-backed newspapers published front-page pictures of the jailed activists, including Modaimegh, calling them “traitors”.
Modaimegh’s release comes as Saudi Arabia faces intense global criticism over the killing of insider-turned-critic Jamal Khashoggi in its Istanbul consulate on October 2, which tipped the kingdom into one of its worst crises.
Further fuelling the outrage, rights groups last month said many of the detained activists have faced sexual harassment and torture such as electrocution and flogging during interrogation.