mandag 20. april 2020

China 'bars lawyer from going home' after prison release

A prominent Chinese human rights lawyer barred from returning home after his prison release two weeks ago has been prohibited from reuniting with his family after a 14-day quarantine period.Wang Quanzhang’s wife and rights groups fear authorities are using the coronavirus pandemic as a pretext to hold him indefinitely under de facto house arrest.

Wang, a lawyer who lives in Beijing, had taken on politically sensitive cases and defended activists and members of the banned religious group Falun Gong. Released on 4 April after serving four and a half years for subversion, he was taken to his hometown of Jinan, 250 miles (400km) south of Beijing, for compulsory quarantine. But even though authorities told him he would be freed after 14 days, he has been barred from returning to Beijing, his wife, Li Wenzu, said on Sunday. “Today is the 15th day and he still can’t return to Beijing,” she said. “I really cannot accept this.”

Li said that during the past two weeks, Wang was only able to hold phone conversations with her under the supervision of police, who controlled the content and length of his communications. In their conversations over the past two weeks, she said Wang had said her online postings “were causing him trouble” and ordered her to delete them.