Urgent Action Update: Human Rights Lawyer at Risk of Torture (China: UA 19.18)

Beijing human rights lawyer Yu Wensheng has been indicted and his case has been transferred from the prosecution to the court awaiting a trial date, according to his wife. No official notification about the indictment nor transfer has been received. With no access to his lawyers since his detention in January 2018, there are fears that he is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment. Yu Wensheng is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression and should be immediately and unconditionally released.



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Han Xiaojun, Procurator-General of
Xuzhou City People’s Procuratore
No. 128, Xiannanlu
Quanshan Qu, Xuzhou Shi
Jiangsu Sheng 221006
People’s Republic of China
Email: [email protected]  
Ambassador Cui Tiankai
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
3505 International Place NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 495 2266 I Fax: 202 495 2138
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Procurator-General Han,

Beijing human rights lawyer Yu Wensheng was indicted on 1 February 2019 and his case has been transferred from Xuzhou City People’s Procuratorate to Xuzhou City Intermediate People’s Court awaiting a trial date, according to his wife who was told by an officer of the procuratorate. No formal notification about the indictment, nor any of the legal documents of his case, have been made available to his lawyers.

Yu Wensheng’s lawyers were once again not allowed to meet him in the detention centre on 12 and 13 February 2019. They have made 25 attempts to visit Yu Wensheng since he was taken away in January 2018, however all requests, without any clear or valid reason, have so far been rejected by the police. Without access to a lawyer of his choice, I am concerned that Yu Wensheng is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

Yu Wensheng was taken away by police on 19 January 2018 and, after being placed under “residential surveillance in a designated location”, was formally arrested on 19 April 2018 on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” and “obstructing the duties of public officers”.

I call on you to immediately and unconditionally release Yu Wensheng and drop the charges against him as he has been detained solely for peacefully exercising his human right to freedom of expression; ensure that he has regular, unrestricted access to a lawyer of his choice and his family and investigate and ensure that while in detention Yu Wensheng is not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment.

Yours sincerely,


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