Human Rights Commissioner Strässer on indictment of Chinese human rights defender Pu Zhiqiang
Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid Christoph Strässer issued the following statement on 15 May:
I was greatly saddened to hear that renowned human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang was indicted in Beijing today. As a lawyer Mr Pu worked, on the basis of applicable legislation, for the improvement of the rule of law. I am thus utterly baffled by the indictment, especially in light of the Chinese leadership’s stated goal of strengthening the rule of law in China.
Pu Zhiqiang has already spent over a year in prison without being charged. This violates the principles of the rule of law.
I call upon China’s leaders to strengthen political liberties, the rule of law and transparency and not to disappoint expectations of their willingness to implement reform. This includes progress in respecting human rights. I hope that foreign Embassies will be able to observe the process and expect the proceedings to take place in line with the principles of the rule of law.