Chinese lawyer reunites with family after 5 years in jail

Beijing: Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang reunited with his wife and son on Tuesday after spending nearly five years behind bars for “subversion of state power”.

He was imprisoned on July 9, 2015 following a government crackdown against law firms specializing in human rights cases, which led to the detention of lawyers and activists, reports Efe news.

In a video, Wang’s wife Li Wenzu can be seen waiting for him with their son Quanquan at their apartment on Monday night as he arrives accompanied by security personnel.

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Li, whose fight for Wang’s freedom made her one of the most prominent activists of the country, had last met him on January 16 in Linyi prison in eastern China.

Since his release from prison on April 5, Wang was kept under police vigilance at his former home in the eastern city of Jinan, while his family remained at his current residence in Beijing.

The reason given by the authorities initially to prevent his return to his family was that he would be kept in quarantine for two weeks to make sure he was not infected with the novel coronavirus, but he was not allowed to leave Jinan even after the 14 day period.

“It’s a big relief to see that Wang Quanzhang can finally reunite with his wife Li Wenzu and their son Quan Quan. It’s definitely a positive result of the perseverance of his wife and the continued international pressure on his case,” Leo Lan of China Human Rights Defenders told Efe news.

In December 2018, a Chinese court sentenced Wang to four years and six months in prison for subversion of state power, a charge often used by the Chinese government against activists and dissidents.

On Junuary 28, 2019, Li was able to visit her husband in prison after nearly four years of his arrest.

Prominent lawyer Yu Wensheng along with other lawyers and activists continue to be in prison.

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