Inside China: Imprisoned Human Rights Lawyer who Defended Falun Gong in Danger
Falun Dafa Information Center Alert
A human rights lawyer from northeast China who was jailed for seven years for defending Falun Gong practitioners is in serious condition. Authorities are denying him medical attention, putting his life in danger.
Mr. Wang Yonghang (???) is being held in Shenyang No. 1 prison in Liaoning. His wife recently relayed to Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) that he is suffering from tuberculosis and showing signs of paralysis, including losing all feeling below his waist. Since his detention, Wang has been repeatedly beaten in custody.
The 38-year-old Wang began defending Falun Gong practitioners in 2007. The following year, he wrote open letters to political and judicial officials arguing that the persecution of Falun Gong was illegal. In response, authorities confiscated his license to practice law, but he continued representing Falun Gong practitioners.
In mid-2009, approximately 20 plainclothes policemen abducted Wang from his home. Later that year, he was sentenced in a sham trial to 7 years in prison, the longest known term for a human rights lawyer defending Falun Gong practitioners. Amnesty International has reported on Wang’s imprisonment and qualified him as a prisoner of conscience.
In recent years, many of China’s leading human rights lawyers have represented Falun Gong practitioners despite Party directives banning such action. These attorneys have repeatedly defended practitioners in court, presenting detailed arguments as to their innocence and the broader need to observe the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion. In response, they have faced escalating harassment, monitoring, disbarment, and even detention or torture.
Over the past year, incidents of ordinary citizens openly standing up to call for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong have also increased.
The Falun Dafa Information Center calls on those in charge of Shenyang No. 1 prison to immediately release Wang and ensure he has access to proper medical attention.
- Chinese Human Rights Defenders, June 2012 (Chinese), “Dalian Rights Defense Lawyer Wang Yonghang Tortured, Life in Peril in Shenyang Prison“
- Falun Dafa Information Center, Feb. 2011, “Human Rights Lawyer who Defended Falun Gong Beaten in Chinese Prison”
- Amnesty International, Dec. 2009, “China: Lawyer jailed for defending human rights”
- Falun Dafa Information Center, Dec. 2009, “Chinese Human Rights Lawyer Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison for Defending Falun Gong” (including timeline)