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Prominent China human rights lawyer arrested for political subversion

[JURIST] Chinese authorities on Thursday arrested high profile human rights lawyer Wang Yu and her husband on charges of political subversion. Authorities have accused [NYT report] Wang of subversion of state power and her husband Bao Longjun, a trainee lawyer, of inciting subversion of state power. The formal arrest of Wang and Bao comes after six months of being held in detention [Reuters report] with other members of their firm. The couple, along with members of their Beijing Fengrui Law Firm, have been held in "designated residential surveillance" since July. Designated Residential Surveillance allows legal incommunicado solitary detention in secret locations for up to six months. Upon their recent release, many of the members of the Fenguir Law firm have been arrested and charged with subversion. The charges against Want and her husband carry sentences ranging from 15 years to life in prison.

Chinese state media recently criticized [JURIST report] detained human rights lawyers for undermining the rule of law. Last month prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang was released [JURIST report] after receiving a suspended sentence. Pu was detainedin 2014 on a charge of "causing a disturbance" after he attended a weekend meeting that urged an investigation into the 1989 crackdown of pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square and was subsequently denied [JURIST reports] bail. The Tiananmen protests began in April 1989 with mainly students and laborers protesting the Communist Party of China. The Chinese government declared martial law in May and initiated the violent dispersal of protesters by the People's Liberation Army on June 4.

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