Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (15 January) on the trial of Huang Qi:
I am following very closely the proceedings against Chinese human rights defender Huang Qi, in which the trial began on Monday, 14 January 2019 in Mianyang. I am concerned that Huang Qi only had access to his chosen lawyers at a late stage, and only occasionally. Moreover, some of his lawyers had their licence to practise law revoked. Under these circumstances, a fair trial is impossible.
I therefore call upon the Chinese institutions to conduct the trial in accordance with rule of law principles and relevant UN conventions. China must act upon the declared aim of the Chinese leadership to strengthen the rule of law. I also call on the Chinese institutions to take account of Huang Qi’s problematic health and consider whether he can be released from detention immediately on humanitarian grounds.
Huang Qi’s 85-year-old mother Pu Wenqing is lobbying hard for her son. I am worried because, since December, it has not been possible to contact her. I ask the Chinese institutions to listen to her, to respect her safety and freedom and to allow her access to her son.
Huang Qi has worked for human rights in China for many years. He became known within China and abroad for his work for missing persons and the victims of the 2008 earthquake in Wenchuan, Sichuan province. Huang Qi has long been seriously and chronically ill. The United Nations has described his detention as arbitrary.