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Detained Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang faces trial
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Detained Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang faces trial

The closed trial of detained human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang began Wednesday in Tianjin amid protests.

Wang and approximately 300 other lawyers and legal activists were arrested during the 709 Crackdown on July 9, 2015. Though most of the detainees were eventually released, Wang has not been seen in three years, despite international pressure to release him and other detained human rights activists.

Amnesty International called the trial a “sham” and a “cruel charade.” Wang’s charges include “seriously harm[ing] the country’s security and social stability” and “maliciously inciting” opposition to the Chinese government and could carry a penalty of life imprisonment. The trial ended on Wednesday with no verdict announced. 

Wang’s wife Li Wenzu has faced surveillance and harassment from Chinese authorities and was barred from attending her husband’s trial along with representatives from the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Switzerland who tried to gain entry.