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31 Jul 2016

Javier C. Hernandez, New York Times

China frees Wang Yu, human rights lawyer, after videotaped confession

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A prominent lawyer [Wang Yu] jailed as part of a crackdown on human rights lawyers in China has been released from detention, according to news reports on Monday, even as her colleagues suggested that a videotaped confession she had offered had probably been coerced…In a televised confession…Ms. Wang, a leading figure in the movement, delivered a scathing rebuke of her profession, accusing colleagues of pursuing wealth and fame and suggesting that foreign activists were conspiring to smear the Chinese government…

The authorities moved forward…with trials for several of Ms. Wang’s colleagues, including Zhou Shifeng, the director of a law firm at the center of the government’s campaign, accusing them of subverting state power…Foreign diplomats and activists harshly criticized Beijing’s decision to prosecute Mr. Zhou and his colleagues and demanded that the detained lawyers be allowed to consult with lawyers.

Ms. Wang…represented Ilham Tohti, an advocate for China’s Uighur ethnic minority…She also helped defend a group of feminists who were detained last year for organizing a campaign against sexual harassment on public transit…Ms. Wang’s supporters said they feared that she would be under police supervision and investigation for years, even though she had been released on bail…

Part of the following timelines

China: More than 300 rights lawyers detained in nationwide crackdown, including lawyers who handled cases on corporate abuses; at least 6 face formal charges

China: Human rights lawyer Wang Yu released from detention after suspectedly coerced videotaped confession