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Statement on Lawyer Wang Yu’s Release on Bail and Her Confession

                                                                             Statement (for immediate release)

 (1 August 2016. Hong Kong) Today lawyer Wang Yu is said to have been granted bail.  To her beloved friends and family, this should normally be great news. However, by observing her in the interview she gave, the way she looked, she talked and behaved, it is extremely hard for those who care and know her well not to get worried about her current state of being, physically and psychologically.

Comparing Wang Yu’s case of “release on bail” with Zhao Wei’s case, one can the resemblances in both of the two in their behaviours, and the context as well as the authorities’ handling. For Zhao Wei, her “release” and personal freedom continues to be questioned by the international community and her whereabouts has by far remained unknown to anyone.

In this light, the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group calls on the attention of the public and international community to the dubious situation of Wang Yu’s “release on bail”.

  1. When the authorities handled the “709” cases over the past year, they broke the law and the regulations in numerous instances. As a professional, Wang Yu is well-versed in Chinese law. She knows she has lost 389 days of freedom since 9th July last year. During the period, she could not meet her defense lawyers and was not allowed to communicate with her family. She could not get any assistance for the outside world. Her lawyers were declined access to files and deprived their rights to perform their legal duties. The Procuratorate and Judiciary consistently ignored their complaints. These are all objective facts. She almost had all her rights infringed, and yet in the interview, she claimed that “all of her legal rights were well protected”. Wang Yu’s recount was full of contradictions and it was difficult to believe.
  2. In contemporary China, and with the presence of the public security officials, anywhere can possibly be turned into a detention centre. Wang Yu’s husband is accused of the crime of “inciting subversion of state power” and is still in captivity. Her son and parents are closely monitored. Could Wang Yu be speaking for her mind and will or against it when she expressed her remorse and apologies.
  3. Wang Yu appeared to be very stiff and unnatural in the “interview”.  She spoke in broken sentences and with dull and glazed eyes.  The Wang Yu seen in the video clip is drastically different from what she used to be like, articulated and eloquent. Indeed, there is reasonable grounds for her friends to feel worry about her physical and psychological health.
  4. Taking into account the development of Zhao Wei’s case, one cannot help conjecturing the real motives behind the Chinese government in this maneuvers – to make her “self-incriminate”, discredit the rights lawyers’ community, as well as to set the tone for the trial to open on 2 August 2016.

Despite the claim that Wang Yu has been “released on bail”, the Concern Group strongly doubts if she is genuinely set free. We hence caution the public and the international community to take Wang Yu’s release at its face value.

Pressure should continue to be exerted on the Chinese government for the genuine release of Wang Yu, Zhao Wei as well as all those unlawfully detained in the 709 crackdown.  


Media coverage on Wang Yu’s release on bail (1 August 2016)

At 15:00 on 1 August 2016, the on.cc, a Hong Kong-based newspaper published a report entitled “Foreign countries criticised by arrested woman lawyer as hyping weiquan issues and intending to mess up China”.  Therein, Wang Yu was interviewed by on. cc in a restaurant in Tianjin. She said that foreign organisations have been interfering into instances of weiquan (rights-defence) in China by chipping in money and resources with an intention to mess up China. She also denounced the attempt to take her 16-year old son to US via Myanmar, and that her son could have been used as a bargaining chip to attack the Chinese government. She also rejected the human rights award given to her by the lawyers’ organisation in Europe.

At 16h, mainland media Global Net released a coverage called “With the plot of the Fengrui Law Firm unveiled, the “Sike” lawyer repents and refused to accept the “human-rights” award offered by the foreigners. “The report went further to recount: Wang Yu told reporter of the Global Times that her legal rights were all well protected during the detention.  “In the past, I really have done wrong in the court. In addition, I always posted inappropriate comments on cases on my microblog, and accepted interviews of the foreign press. I wanted to pressurize our court with all these behaviours in order to satisfy my demands. Now in hindsight, all these are wrong. This is not what a lawyer and a legal professional should have done. I am so shameful and I regret so much”.

Some facts about Wang Yu's case

In the early hours of 9 July 2015, Wang Yu was taken away by the police. She was then given “residential surveillance at designated location” and was held in secret detention for 6 months. On 8 January, 2016. Wang Yu was formally arrested for “subverting state power” and was held in the no. 1 detention centre of the Tianjin Municipal City.  Up to now, she has been held for 389 days. During this period of time, she was completely isolated from the outside world. She was denied meeting or written communication with her self-selected lawyers or with her family members. Her husband is also arrested for “inciting subversion of state power”. Her son and parents are under round the clock surveillance by the police in their home in Inner Mongolia.