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China: Statement by the Spokesperson on the detention of human rights lawyer Li Yuhan


On 9 October 2017, human rights lawyer Ms Li Yuhan was detained on suspicion of ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble’. Ms Li had been active as a defence lawyer and advocate for victims of human rights violations, including human rights lawyers who were detained in the so-called “709 crackdown”.

 Ms Li has now spent more than three years in detention. Credible sources indicate that, during her detention, Ms Li has been subject to torture and ill treatment and that she has not received adequate medical assistance. Her health condition has been seriously deteriorating while in detention.

 We call on China to uphold international human rights law and China's Criminal Procedure Law, which accord defendants the right to be assisted by a lawyer of their own choosing, and to a fair trial and due process, without undue delay.

 More generally, the European Union expects China to ensure full respect for the rule of law, to establish fair trial guarantees and to investigate thoroughly all reported cases of arbitrary detentions, ill-treatment and torture of human rights defenders and their families.

 The European Union calls for the immediate release of Ms Li Yuhan, as well as other detained and convicted human rights lawyers and other human rights defenders including Yu Wensheng, Huang Qi, Ge Jueping, Qin Yongmin, Gao Zhisheng, Ilham Tohti, Tashi Wangchuk, Wu Gan and Liu Feiyue.

Nabila Massrali
Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
+32 (0) 2 29 88093
+32 (0) 460 79 52 44