On 7 July, Amnesty International called on the Chinese authorities to end their ruthless assault against human rights lawyers and activists ahead of the first anniversary of the start of an unprecedented crackdown.
«Human rights lawyers have faced the full wrath of China’s secretive machinery of repression. The detained lawyers must be released and this systemic assault against individuals defending the rights of Chinese people must end», said Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International.
At least 248 human rights lawyers and activists were targeted during the nationwide sweep which began on 9 July 2015. One year on, 17 individuals caught up in the onslaught remain detained, eight of whom could face life imprisonment after being charged with «subverting state power».
The authorities have used an armoury of repression in an attempt to break the lawyers. Most of those detained in the crackdown were denied legal counsel and contact with their family, a clear violation of their rights.