Human rights activists and lawyers on trial in China

The Chinese government has recently started cracking down on activists and lawyers that may become a threat the the Communist Party of China’s supreme rule over the country.

In recent months, about 300 lawyers and human rights activists have been detained and will be put on trial by the Chinese government – just on Monday the 1st of August, Zhai Yanmin, the first of a group of four human rights activists, has been put on trial in Tianjin, according to BBC news.

Also on Monday, Wang Yu, from the same firm as Zhai Yanmin, was seen in a video renouncing her work as a layer and was released on bail. In the video, she also renounced mr. Zhou, the firm’s head, as an “unqualified lawyer” and that “foreign forces” were using the law firm to undermine and discredit the Chinese government. Human rights organizations have said that these confessions are likely coerced.

Although Chinese media said the trial in Tianjin is “open”, the BBC reported it was stopped filming outside the building.

Family members of the group, commonly known as 709, after the day in 2015 (9th of July) on which the government started its most recent crackdown, said: “As 709 family members, we solemnly make this appeal to Chinese citizens and international friends: please pay attention to and condemn the trial.” The family members also said that they ere not allowed to be present in Tuesday’s trial, and that Mr. Zhai’s wife was missing and others are at risk of being “taken away”.

Over the next four days, human rights lawyer Zhou Shifeng and the two other activists, Hu Shigen and Gou Hongguo are also expected to be put on trial.

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