L'avocat Zhou Shifeng condamné à 7 ans de prison
Le 4 août 2016, le défenseur des droits humains et avocat M. Zhou Shifeng, a été condamné à sept ans de prison par un tribunal militaire de la province de Tianjin, pour "subversion du pouvoir de l'État".
Zhou Shifeng est directeur du cabinet d'avocats Fengrui et il est un avocat reconnu. Il est l'un des membres clés du rights defense movement, qui tente de remettre en question le pouvoir de l'État par le biais de procès et de la publicité.
Depuis 2001, il a défendu plusieurs affaires "politiquement risquées" dans le domaine des droits humains. En 2008, il a poursuivi l'un des plus grands producteurs de produits laitiers en Chine, au nom des victimes du scandale du lait contaminé et en 2014, il a représenté Tie Liu, un écrivain de 81 ans arrêté après avoir critiqué le gouvernement chinois sur internet. En 2015, Zhou Shifeng a annoncé son intention de créer un "fond de défense des droits des avocats en Chine", qui pourrait fournir une aide financière aux familles des avocats emprisonnés.
Le 4 août 2016, le défenseur des droits humains et avocat M. Zhou Shifeng, a été condamné à sept ans de prison par un tribunal militaire de la province de Tianjin, pour "subversion du pouvoir de l'État". C'est le troisième procès de défenseur des droits humains en Chine cette semaine. Le 3 août, M. Hu Shigen a été condamné à 7 ans et demi de prison par le même tribunal et le 2 août, M. Zhai Yanmin a été condamné à trois ans avec sursis.
Zhou Shifeng est l'un des nombreux avocats placés en détention lors de la vague de répression nationale lancée le 9 juillet 2015. Il a été détenu au secret pendant plus d'un an. En juillet 2015, la télévision publique chinoise a diffusé des aveux dans lesquels il disait que le cabinet Fengrui avait eu un comportement illégal. Pendant les trois heures d'audience le 4 août 2016, il a été défendu par un avocat commis d'office lorsque ses propres avocats ont été remplacés. Selon les médias publics chinois, Zhou Shifeng a déclaré qu'il s'était associé avec des forces étrangères afin d'attaquer le système judiciaire chinois et de causer des problèmes au gouvernement. Le langage utilisé dans sa déclaration faisait étroitement écho à la déclaration de Hu Shigen et Zhai Yanmin lors de leurs procès des 2 et 3 août et soulève des questions à propos de la véracité de ces soi-disant aveux.
Front Line Defenders condamne fermement la condamnation de Zhou Shifeng à 7 ans de prison et appelle les autorités à infirmer immédiatement et sans condition la peine prononcée contre le défenseur, car cela semble être une tentative visant à l'empêcher de mener à bien son travail pacifique et légitime en faveur des droits humains. Front Line Defenders condamne également les vices de procédure constatés lors du procès, notamment l'utilisation d'aveux avant le procès et le renvoi de ses avocats.
On 11 and 12 January 2016, the families of five human rights lawyers and a legal assistant received official notice that their family members had been formally charged. All six individuals had been held in secret detention for six months.
Mr Zhou Shifeng, Mr Wang Quanzhang, Ms Zhao Wei and Ms Li Shuyun have all been charged with subversion of state power, while Mr Xie Yanyi and Mr Xie Yang have been charged with inciting subversion of state power. The maximum penalty for the crime of 'subversion of state power' is life imprisonment. There is a 15 year maximum penalty for the crime of 'inciting subversion of state power'.
On 10 July 2015, Zhou Shifeng, Wang Quanzhang, Li Shuyun and Zhao Wei were detained by police in Beijing. On 11 July 2015, Xie Yang was detained in Changsha, Hunan province. On 12 July 2015, Xie Yani was also detained in Beijing. None of the six have been permitted access to lawyers and all have been held incommunicado since their detentions. They were among over 300 lawyers, legal assistants and human rights defenders who were detained, placed under residential surveillance, subjected to travel bans or harassed in the period following 9 July last year. It is believed that up to 20 other human rights defenders remain in some form of police custody, in addition to the aforementioned six.
9 September 2015 marked two months to the day since a nationwide crackdown on human rights defenders began in China.
The whereabouts of at least 18 defenders remain unknown following their detention by police in July. It is thought that at least nine others are also detained. Many of those missing or detained are lawyers who have been at the forefront of the human rights movement in China over the past number of years.
Beginning on 9 July 2015, scores of human rights defenders, mostly involved in legal activism, were taken in for questioning by police in a number of cities across China. While many were released shortly after, it is reported that at least 27 remain in police custody. The families and lawyers of at least 18 of those detained have not been informed of where they are being held, nor have their lawyers been permitted to meet with them. No information has been received about their physical or mental well-being. All but one of those detained have been refused access to their lawyers, with some legal representatives informed that this is because their clients' cases involve 'national security'.
On 9 July 2015, human rights lawyer Ms Wang Yu and her husband Mr Bao Longjun, a legal activist, were detained and subsequently placed under 'residential surveillance' in an unknown location. They are being held on charges of 'inciting subversion of state power' and Bao Longjun also faces the charge of 'picking quarrels and provoking troubles'. The following day, a number of lawyers and legal assistants Messrs Wang Quangzhang, Xie Yuandong, Li Heping, Liu Sixin, Zhou Shifeng, Huang Liqun and Ms Li Shuyun were seized by police in Beijing. Their whereabouts are currently unknown, as are the whereabouts of Ms Wang Fang, an accountant at a law firm where some of the detained lawyers work, and Mr Hu Shigen, a human rights defender and writer who previously spent 16 years in prison as a result of his human rights activities. Three further human rights defenders, namely Messrs Gou Hongguo, Liu Yongping and Lin Bin, were also detained on 10 July and remain under 'residential surveillance' at an unknown location.
That same day, lawyer Mr Sui Muqing was detained in Guangzhou and has also been placed under 'residential surveillance' at an unknown location on charges of 'inciting subversion of state power'. On 12 July lawyer Mr Xie Yanyi was also detained in Beijing and subsequently placed under 'residential surveillance' at an unknown location on charges of 'disrupting court order' and 'inciting subversion of state power'. On 20 July Ms Gao Yue, an assistant to lawyer Li Heping, was detained and subsequently placed under 'residential surveillance' at an unknown location on charges of 'picking quarrels and provoking troubles' and 'inciting subversion of state power'. On 1 August, Mr Li Chunfu, the younger brother of Li Heping was disappeared following a raid on his home by police in Beijing. He has not been heard from since. In addition to the defenders named above, at least nine others reportedly remain in detention.
Since 9 July 2015, the Chinese police have detained or questioned more than 100 human rights defenders and their family members.
While many of them have been released, at least six human rights lawyers, namely Ms Wang Yu and Messrs Zhou Shifeng, Wang Quanzhang, Huang Liqun, Sui Muqing and Xie Yang, remain imprisoned or under house arrest.
The human rights defenders were arrested and detained by police at different times between 9 and 11 July. Sui Muqing and Xie Yang are accused of inciting subversion of state power and have been placed under house arrest. Four lawyers from Beijing Fengrui Law Firm, Wang Yu, Zhou Shifeng, Wang Quanzhang andHuang Liqun, were taken from their homes or offices by police during this period and remain in detention. Wang Yu's husband and fellow human rights defender, Mr Bao Longjun, has also been detained by police in Beijing.
This most recent crackdown started on 9 July, when Wang Yu was kidnapped in the early morning after sending her friends a text message saying that the internet connection and electricity had been cut off at her home and that people were trying to break in. Shortly after her detention, more than 100 Chinese lawyers joined an open letter protesting her disappearance. Later some of those lawyers who signed the letter, as well as her colleagues from Beijing Fengrui Law Firm were detained.
Wang Yu, Zhou Shifeng, Wang Quanzhang and Huang Liqun are human rights lawyers working for Fengrui Law Firm, based in Beijing. The Law Firm has handled a number of high-profile human rights cases including that of the Uighur human rights defenderMr Ilham Tohti, who is currently serving a life sentence on separatism charges. The firm’s director, Zhou Shifeng, represented Zhang Miao, a Chinese journalist who had worked with a German magazine reporting on the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests in 2014 and who was recently released after nine months in detention. Clients of Wang Yu include practitioners of Falun Gong, the religious group banned in China. Guangzhou-based human rights lawyer Sui Muqing, who has been under a travel ban since May 2015, is known for representing clients in so-called politically sensitive cases. Xie Yang is a Hunan-based human rights lawyer who has represented the family of Xu Chunhe, a man shot dead by policeHeilongjiang Province in May 2015.