Chinese authorities released a prominent human rights lawyer from detention on Monday. Wang Yu was released [NYT report] on bail after confessing to “subverting state power” and rejecting awards from the American Bar Association and Ludovic Trarieux Prize for her work defending human rights, saying that they were intended to “blacken the reputation of the Chinese government.” The televised confession alleged that “foreign forces” trained her and her colleagues to attack and smear the government of China. Yu’s colleagues claim [WP report] that she would never say such things unless she were put under extreme pressure. Yu was detained over a year ago during China’s “crackdown” on the legal and human rights activist community.
China’s human rights record has drawn international scrutiny. Last month China was set to prosecute [JURIST report] a prominent human rights lawyer on charges of subverting state power. Also last month Amnesty International urged [JURIST report] Chinese authorities to “end their ruthless assault against human rights lawyers and activists.” In June a report claimed that China continues to harvest organs [JURIST report] from prisoners and those opposed to the Chinese Communist Party. Also in June a UN expert presented [JURIST report] a report showing that fundamentalist intolerance is growing throughout the globe and is directly contributing to infringements of the rights to association and peaceful assembly. That same month a prominent Chinese civil rights lawyer was put on trial for fraud during a crackdown on political dissent, a month after China passed a law restricting [JURIST reports] non-governmental organization (NGOs).