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Urgent Interventions

Ongoing arbitrary and incommunicado detention of Mr. Wang Quanzhang

CHN 003 / 0917 / OBS 101

Arbitrarydetention /

Torture /Judicial harassment


September 19, 2017

The Observatory for the Protection ofHuman Rights Defenders, a partnership of the World Organisation Against Torture(OMCT) and FIDH, requests your urgent intervention in the following situationin China.

Brief description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed byreliable sources about theongoing arbitrary and incommunicado detention of Mr. WangQuanzhang, a humanrights lawyer with Fengrui Law Firm in Beijing. Mr. Wang wasdetained in the context of the “709 crackdown”[1].

According tothe information received, since Mr. WangQuanzhang’s arrest by police in August 2015, Chinese authorities haverepeatedly prevented his wife and his lawyers from having access to him.

After he was taken into custody on August 3, 2015, Mr.Wang was held under “residential surveillance at a designated location” (RSDL)for six months, until he was formally arrested on January 8, 2016 andtransferred to Tianjin No. 2 Detention Center. His familyassumes he is still detained at Tianjin No. 2 Detention Center but neither hiswife nor his lawyer has been able to meet him since his transfer to Tianjin. On someoccasions, Tianjin police claimed they did not know where Mr. Wang was.

On February 14,2017, Mr. Wang was indicted oncharges of “inciting subversion of State power” (Article 105 of the ChineseCriminal Law), punishable with prison terms ranging from 10 years to lifeimprisonment.

Moreover, itis strongly believed that Mr. Wang was subjected to various forms of ­torture,including electric shocks, while in custody. Since his arrest, his relativeshave also been subjected to harassment. In particular, his wife, Ms. Li Wenzu, hasbeen constantly monitored, and was arbitrarily detained on several occasions.Their son has also been forcibly removed from kindergarten by police order.

Mr. Wang hasbeen practicing law since 2003, and has represented a wide array of clients inhuman rights cases, including Falun Gong practitioners, members of the NewCitizens’ Movement, housing rights activist Ni Yulan, and journalist Qi Chonghuai. He also wrote orco-authored many articles on the legal profession and human rights, and ledmany human rights and legal training sessions for less experienced human rightsdefenders around China. He has faced constant harassment and sufferedretaliation for his work.

TheObservatory strongly condemns the arbitrary detention of Mr. Wang Quanzhang,and urges the Chinese authorities to immediately and unconditionally releasehim, ensure his right to access to his relatives and a lawyer of his own or hisfamily’s choosing, and respect his rights including those stipulated inthe UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, the UN Standard MinimumRules for the Treatment of Prisoners and the UN Basic Principles onthe Role of Lawyers.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of the People’s Republic of China tourge them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychologicalintegrity of Mr. Wang Quanzhang as well as that of all human rights defendersin China;

ii. Immediately disclose Mr. Wang Quanzhang’swhereabouts and release him immediately and unconditionally as hisdetention is arbitrary since it only seems to aim at punishing him for his humanrights activities;

iii.Guarantee the access of Mr. Wang Quanzhang to his family members andto a lawyer of his own or his family’s choosing;

iv.Carry out an immediate, thorough, impartial, and transparentinvestigation into the above-mentioned allegations of torture inorder to identify all those responsible, bring them before an independenttribunal, and sanction them as provided by law;

v. Put anend to all acts of harassment - including at the judicial level- against Mr. Wang Quanzhang and all human rights defendersin the country so that they are able to carry out their work withouthindrance, and put an end to reprisals against family members seeking justiceon behalf of detained or disappeared human rights defenders;

vi. Comply with the provisions of the United Nations Declaration onHuman Rights Defenders, in particular with its Articles 1, 6(c) and 12.2;

vii. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights andfundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration on HumanRights and other international human rights instruments signed or ratified byChina.


· Mr. LiKeqiang, Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of China, Fax: +86 10 659 61109 (c/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Email:

· Mr. GuoShengkun, Minister of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China, Fax:+86 10 63099216, Email:

· H.E.Mr. Zhaoxu Ma, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic ofChina to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 793 70 14,E-mail:

· H.E.Mr. QU XING, Ambassador, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China inBrussels, Belgium, Fax: +32-2-7792895; Email:

Please also write to the diplomaticrepresentations of China in your respective countries.


Geneva-Paris, September 19, 2017

Kindly inform us of any action undertakenquoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection ofHuman Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the WorldOrganisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programmeis to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rightsdefenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of, the European Union Human RightsDefenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

To contactthe Observatory, call the emergency line:

· E-mail:

· Teland fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

· Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80

[1] The term “709” refers to the start of thecrackdown on July 9, 2015. About 300 rights lawyers and ­activists weredetained, interrogated or threatened in one of the harshest crackdowns on humanrights and civil society in decades. For more information, see the Joint Statementissued on January 15, 2016.

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