More than 100 lawyers and human rights defenders and their relatives have been detained or questioned as Chinese authorities carried out an unprecedented nationwide crackdown on human rights activists over the weekend.

As of July 14 at 7:30pm in Hong Kong, the total number of people who have been summoned, questioned, arrested, or detained had reached 159 across 24 cities and provinces, according to the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group. Of those, 10 are still detained by authorities, the whereabouts of 14 are unknown, and 135 have been released, said the Hong Kong-based advocacy group.


It is unclear what sparked the crackdown, and why it is being conducted now. But information about individual cases began to appear in state media over the weekend.

An article published on July 12 on People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s leading mouthpiece, called a Beijing-based law firm that specializes in human rights cases a “major criminal gang” that “organized, planned, and hyped more than 40 sensitive cases since July 2012, seriously disturbing social order.” Four lawyers from the firm, Beijing Fengrui, as well as an assistant and a lawyer’s husband, have been “criminally detained” for “seriously violating the law,” the article said without specifying any charges.

Zhou Shifeng, director of Beijing Fengrui, represented Zhang Miao, the Chinese news assistant who had been detained for nine months after she helped cover the Hong Kong democracy protests for a German publication. Zhou was kidnapped and detained last Friday, after Zhang was freed without charge on Tuesday, according to human rights website Weiquanwang.

Beijing Fengrui also involved in the case of a man from Qing’an county, Northeastern Heilongjiang province, who was shot dead by a policeman after he attacked the police with a baton. People’s Daily’s said “these lawyers publicly challenged the court … and mobilized troublemakers to rally petitioners … outside the court.”

According to a police notice revealed on July 11 by overseas political news website Boxun, Guangzhou-based lawyer Sui Muqing was put under a police detention at his residence for “incitement to subvert state power.”

Since President XI Jingping came to power, the ruling Communist Party has seriously tightened control over advocates for legal rights and free speech. Over 200 Chinese rights lawyers were detained last year, including Pu Zhiqing, who represents artist Ai Weiwei. But this past weekend’s roundup was so wide-reaching and severe that some described it as a “purge.”

China recently introduced a sweeping national security law, that will give the state the power to cut off the internet, which has aroused concern among the Chinese public and other countries. The U.S. Department of State said on its website on July 12 that it is “deeply concerned that the broad scope of the new National Security Law is being used as a legal facade to commit human rights abuses.”



This article was updated on July 15 at noon in Hong Kong by Quartz Magazine.

Coalition for the International Criminal Court


El CAPI desea informarles del anuncio oficial del Master en Justicia Penal Internacional creado en colaboración con la Universidad Rovira i Virgili

4ª Reunión Internacional de la Oficina de la Defensa

25 y 26 Noviembre 2016 Londres, Inglaterra



Defence Office of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Dear Madam, Sir,

The Defence Office of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon thank you again for your participation in the Fourth International Meetings of Defence Offices which were held in London, on 25th and 26th of November 2016.

Please find attached the Summary report of the Meetings in French, English and Arabic. 

You will also find attached the questionnaire on Defence Investigations, which we thank you for completing in the language of your choice, and sending back to us, if you have not already done so. As Johann said during the Meetings,your answers will be very useful in that they will illustrate the Guide to Investigations with concrete examples from you experience.

Thank you again for your participation and we hope to see you again in Nuremberg for the Fifth Meetings in 2017.

Kind regards,