11 July 2015
More than 50 Chinese human rights lawyers and staffers have been detained in a roundup spanning nearly half of the country.
Many of the lawyers were interrogated by police officers and national security officials after being detained Friday. By Saturday night, most had been released after receiving stern warnings, but some faced house arrest. Several remained incommunicado.
“This is certainly a coordinated, organized crackdown, not ordinary law enforcement,” said Fu Hualing, a law professor at the University of Hong Kong. Fu counted several friends among the detainees.
Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), a member of the House Foreign Affairs committee, condemned the crackdown and warned of possible diplomatic fallout.
“The detentions come only two weeks after the end of the U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue and set an ugly tone for President Xi's (Jinping) U.S. visit in September,” Smith said in a statement Friday.
The mass roundup began with the disappearance of Beijing lawyers Wang Yu and Zhou Shifeng, colleagues at the same law firm well-known for tackling high-profile cases. Zhou “disappeared” hours after he celebrated the release of client Zhang Miao, formerly a news assistant for Die Zeit, a German newsweekly, who was held since October for allegedly organizing activities in support of pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong.... Click here to read the full article.