Human Rights Commissioner Kofler and French Ambassador for Human Rights Croquette on the trial of Chinese civil rights lawyer Yu Wensheng
French Ambassador for Human Rights François Croquette and Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance at the Federal Foreign Office Bärbel Kofler issued the following joint statement today (9 May) marking the anniversary of the commencement of legal proceedings against Chinese civil rights lawyer Yu Wensheng, recipient of the Franco‑German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law.
Yu Wensheng has worked for many years and in many ways promoting the rule of law and human rights in China.
On this anniversary of his trial, we again want to express our concern about the fact that Yu Wensheng’s family has since received no information on the current status of the proceedings, a possible verdict or his personal situation.
We are also very concerned that Yu Wensheng has had no access to his chosen lawyers during his period of detention, and that his wife was not informed about the proceedings until after they had begun.
We call upon the Chinese institutions to conduct the trial in accordance with the principles of the rule of law and relevant UN conventions China has vowed to uphold and to act upon the declared aim of the Chinese leadership to strengthen the rule of law.
Chinese human rights lawyer Yu Wensheng has been held in detention since January 2018. After more than 500 days in custody, his trial commenced in Xuzhou on 9 May. No verdict has yet been pronounced. Yu Wensheng’s wife did not receive any prior information about the trial, which is contrary to Chinese legal regulations. Since the trial, she has no information on the current status of the proceedings, the verdict, his whereabouts or his personal situation and state of health. Yu Wensheng was awarded the Franco‑German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law in December 2018.