China: Wives Of Political Detainees Shave Heads In Public Protest

The wives of four of China’s most prominent rights lawyers and activists shaved their heads on Monday in protest over what they called the “persecution” of their husbands by the government, Reuters reports.

Since assuming office in 2012, Chinese President Xi Jinping has overseen a crackdown on dissent, with hundreds of rights lawyers and activists being detained, arrested and jailed. 

Four wives of lawyers detained during a July 2015 sweep known as the 709 crackdown gathered in the central park of a sleepy Beijing apartment complex and took turns shaving each other’s heads in front of neighbours and a small group of invited foreign journalists, before heading to China’s Supreme People’s Court to petition over their husbands’ treatment. 

Li Wenzu, who says she has been unable to visit her husband, rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, since he went missing in the 2015 crackdown, told reporters that the act was to protest against the way her husband’s case was being handled. 

Li said judges in Wang’s trial had unlawfully delayed proceedings and prevented her from appointing a lawyer of her choosing. 

Wang is being held in Tianjin on suspicion of subverting state power, but both Li and seven lawyers she has appointed to try and represent Wang have been unable to visit him, she said. 

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor of EU Today. 

An experienced journalist and published author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

Gary's latest book WANTED MAN: THE STORY OF MUKHTAR ABLYAZOV: A Manual for Criminals on How to Avoid Punishment in the EU is currently available from Amazon

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