Statement by the Spokesperson of the EU on the trial of Chinese human rights lawyer Yu Wensheng

Prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Mr. Yu Wensheng, who for a number of years has defended human rights and promoted the rule of law in China and represented human rights activists and lawyers, was put on trial behind closed doors on 9 May at the Intermediate People’s Court of Xuzhou City.

The defendant's rights under China's Criminal Procedure Law and international law obligations to a fair trial, without undue delay, and to proper defence and access to a lawyer of his own choice, have not been respected. As the date of the trial was not publicly announced in a timely way, neither his family nor the lawyer they had appointed were able to attend the trial.

In line with their declared aim of strengthening the rule of law, the Chinese authorities should abide by China’s international law obligations, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and respect the rights of all citizens as guaranteed by China's Constitution.

The European Union calls for the immediate release of Yu Wensheng, as well as other detained and convicted human rights defenders and lawyers including Wang Quanzhang, Qin Yongmin, Gao Zhisheng, Ilham Tohti, Huang Qi, Tashi Wangchuk, Li Yuhan, Wu Gan and Liu Feiyue.