Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office Dr Bärbel Kofler issued the following statement today (28 January) on the sentence handed down to the Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang:
All Wang Quanzhang has done is work within the bounds of the law as an advocate for disenfranchised citizens and those subjected to political persecution in China. I admire his selfless commitment to human rights and the rule of law. It is therefore completely incomprehensible that he was sentenced to imprisonment today. Moreover, the fact that Wang Quanzhang had no access to his chosen lawyers during his pre-trial detention and that he was tried in a closed hearing are also cause for concern.
I appeal to the Chinese side once more to fully respect the customary rights under due process in the ongoing trial against the seriously ill human rights activist Huang Qi and to again grant the public access to the trial as observers.
The German Government will continue to stand up for Wang Quanzhang and Huang Qi.
Today, the Second Intermediate People’s Court in northern Chinese city of Tianjin sentenced the Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang to four and a half years in prison for subversion. He was also denied his political rights for a further five years.