Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office Bärbel Kofler issued the following statement today (27 December) on yesterday’s court proceedings in the trial of Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang:
I am following very carefully the trial of Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang in which proceedings began on 26 December 2018 in Tianjin after three and a half years of detention.
For years, Wang Quanzhang has worked with great dedication to promote human rights and the rule of law in China and was one of the first lawyers to be affected by the 709 crackdown. I am very concerned that Wang Quanzhang had no access to his chosen lawyers during his period of detention and that the proceedings were held behind closed doors. I call upon the Chinese institutions to conduct the trial in accordance with rule of law principles and relevant UN conventions and to act upon the declared aim of the Chinese leadership to strengthen the rule of law.
I ask the Chinese side to grant family members, journalists, Embassy representatives and the public access to the trial as observers once more. Unfortunately, for some time now, the public has not been granted access not only to this trial but also to trials of a similar nature.
Since his arrest in July 2015, the Federal Government has time and again done what it can at a high level to help Wang Quanzhang. Germany will continue to take a keen interest in his fate.