News & Updates
February 27, 2015–Pu’s arrest is of what human rights experts says is the worst crackdown on activists and lawyers China has seen in a decade. China has consistently been among thelowest ranking countries in the press freedom ratings, but since Xi Jinping became China’s leader in 2012, the crackdown on dissent has further intensified. At least 500 human rights activists and dissidents have been arrested and sent to prison. China’s legal system is highly politicised and as a result the case against Pu is rife with irregularities. Human rights organisations are concerned that, with Pu’s potential conviction, self-censorship will become even more pervasive.
February 9, 2015–In late January, Chinese authorities announced that they are considering formal charges against Pu Zhiqiang, one of China’s most prominent human rights lawyers, who has been in detention since last May. Pu’s friends fear that even a life sentence is possible. The crime? “Picking fights and causing trouble,” and other related offenses, on his microblog.
December 23, 2014 – A petition was filed to the United Nations on December 12, 2014 on behalf of Chinese human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, requesting that the UN Working Group consider Pu’s arrest and detention.
July 8, 2014 –Despite the defense team’s low-profile strategy, Pu Zhiqiang’s supporters still have a vital role to play as a deadline looms for handing the case over to prosecutors. Professor Hualing Fu at the University of Hong Kong provides insights into the legal process of Pu’s case.
Pu Zhiqiang is a prominent civil rights lawyer in Beijing, well known internationally and in the mainstream Chinese media for his work in protecting free speech and abolishing labour camps in China, among other issues. He considers himself a moderate working within the legal system to defend the rights of individuals and bring about change in his native country he feels passionate about. On May 6, 2014, Pu was detained by authorities after attending a private meeting in Beijing where he participated in a discussion about the upcoming 25th anniversary of the military crackdown on student-led protests in Tiananmen Square. On June 13, 2014, he was formally arrested for “creating a public disturbance” and “illegally obtaining the personal information of citizens.” This website aims to provide the latest news, information and legal analyses of the case for “Lawyer Pu,” who now needs legal and public assistance because of the uncertain future he faces. It will also provide information on other rights lawyers who are detained or facing legal proceedings in China.