Statement of the German Embassy on the fourth anniversary of the “709-crackdown” on 9 July 2015
Four years ago, on 9 July 2015, more than 300 lawyers and human rights defenders were detained under the charges of “subversion” or “inciting subversion”. This concerted action against persons who were committed to promoting human rights and the rule of law and to safeguarding the rights of Chinese citizens remains a source of great concern.
Many of the detained have not been granted access to lawyers of their own choosing, confessions haven been broadcast on television, investigation procedures prolonged beyond the legal deadlines and relatives’ visiting rights restricted. The restrictions and constraints imposed on relatives, who have done nothing more than stand up for their family members, are also a cause of concern.
Especially worrying is the health situation of the lawyer Wang Quanzhang, who has been detained since July 2015. We are also closely following other cases such as those of the lawyers Gao Zhisheng, Li Yuhan and Yu Wensheng.
We call upon the Chinese authorities to conduct the proceedings in accordance with due process of law, to adhere to relevant UN conventions and to implement the Chinese leadership’s stated objective to strengthen the rule of law. This should also apply to all other human rights lawyers and defenders in China.
Germany will continue to take an active interest in the fate of all lawyers and human rights defenders concerned, as well as that of their relatives.