China Change This article was first published in ChinaChange web site [caption id="attachment_3687" align="alignleft" width="300"] WANG YU the missed lawyer .(Wang Yu)[/caption] On July 10, following the news of lawyer Wang Yu being disappeared, it has just been reported that lawyer Zhou Shifeng, director of the Fengrui Law Office in Beijing , was kidnapped this morning and his whereabouts are unknown. Lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan tweeted earlier the same morning: “Yesterday evening, Zhou Shifeng went to the Tongzhou District Detention Center to pick up Zhang Miao. (Zhang, a research assistant for the German publication Die Zeit, was arrested in October in Hong Kong last year during the Umbrella Revolution, and she was released from the detention center last night.) Later, Wang Lin, Zhang Miao, and Zhou Shifeng stayed at the Seven Days Hotel in the artist colony Song Zhuang. Wang Lin and Zhang Miao stayed in one room while Zhou Shifeng had an adjacent room. At 7:30 am, Wang Lin heard a hotel attendant knock on the door to Zhou Shifeng’s room. Afterwards, Wang Lin heard Zhou Shifeng shout her name. Wang Lin opened the door and saw Zhou Shifeng, hooded, was forcibly taken away by three men. According to Liu Xiaoyuan, “At 7:41 am, after I obtained [the above] news, I immediately dialed Director Zhou’s telephone. At that time I could still get through to his phone but no one answered. I am now calling his phone but it is turned off.” Separately, lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan took a phone call from the Fengrui Law Office assistant Dr. Liu Sixin who said that many policemen had arrived in law firm’s office, and it was feared that the office might be raided. Lawyer Wang Yu represents the recently arrested activist Wu Gan. Before his arrest, Wu Gan worked in the Fengrui Law Office. Lawyer Zhou Shifeng had stated that he would provide 8 million yuan to establish a fund for Chinese rights lawyers. The fund would provide support to families of persecuted lawyers throughout China. Zhou also recently stated that Fengrui Law Office would support Wu Gan’s wife and child for as long as he was in prison. Below is a statement signed by over 100 lawyers on the disappearance of lawyer Wang Yu:
A Statement Concerning the Loss of Contact with Lawyer Wang YuVery early in the morning of 9 July 2015, lawyer Wang Yu sent a text from her residence in Beijing: “This evening I took my husband and son to the airport. Just now the electricity in my apartment suddenly went off. The Wifi also is not working. I hear people forcing the door and talking outside. I called my husband and son but the calls did not go through.” After 4:00 am, contact with lawyer Wang Yu was lost. We the undersigned are colleagues and friends of lawyer Wang Yu and, unable to get in touch with Wang Yu, we hereby issue the following statement:
- Wang Yu is a reasonable, polite, and law abiding lawyer. She is not a terrorist, she does not use drugs, nor is she a rowdy troublemaker.
- Wang Yu’s work is consistently open and aboveboard, honest and frank. If the police suspect she has broken the law, the police can openly and honestly summon and investigate her according to the law, and Wang Yu will definitely cooperate.
- We strongly condemn the relevant departments for cutting off the electricity and the internet in the middle of the night and using force to enter Wang Yu’s residence and arrest her. This is an appalling behavior that seriously violates the proper procedures for handling cases and it is a serious departure from the rule of law.
- Cutting off electricity and the internet and apprehending a person in the dark could easily lead to miscalculation on the part of the resident who might treat the intruders as burglars and take defensive action.
- If personnel from the relevant departments have decided covertly to take the law into their own hands, causing bodily harm to both sides, the relevant departments must assume full legal responsibility.
- We urge the relevant departments to remember that handling cases according to the law is your duty and obligation. If coercive measures are taken against lawyer Wang Yu, then her family members must be notified within 24 hours. Obtaining confessions through torture and coercion, as well as abuse of power, is certain to bring down the wrath of Heaven.