Switzerland commemorates the beginning of the campaign against Chinese lawyers and human rights defenders as well as the continued detention of lawyer Wang Quanzhang

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Press release, 09.07.2018

In its human rights foreign policy, Switzerland attaches particular importance to the role of civil society and human rights defenders. They play a key role in protecting and promoting human rights, strengthening the rule of law and contribute significantly to the implementation of internationally agreed human rights standards.

Switzerland has followed with great concern the unprecedented and continuous campaign of the Chinese government against over 200 lawyers and HRDs, which started on the 7th of July 2015. These HRDs have made use of their constitutional right of freedom of expression and have rightfully fulfilled their professional duty in defending and/or protecting the rights of their clients. From a Swiss perspective, the peaceful defense of human rights do not constitute a subversion of state power but is a meaningful contribution to prosperity, peace and security.

Switzerland condemns the continuous incommunicado detention of lawyer Wang Quanzhang since the 10th of July 2015 and calls on the Chinese government to ensure due process and a fair trial to Wang, grant immediate access to a lawyer of confidence and his family. Switzerland calls on the Chinese government to guarantee the procedural and human rights to all individuals in China, including lawyers and HRDs.