Ms. Wang Yu started practicing law in 2004 in Beijing. She is a member of the human rights lawyers group of China and is by far one of the few female lawyers who have remained steadfast in face of the suppressive environment for lawyer practice in China. Wang began to focus on human rights and public interest cases in 2011 and has been involved in cases of disability discrimination, religious freedom, land rights and illegal restriction of personal freedom by government and law enforcement officials, and activists’ cases.
2. Famous Cases
Wang was the defense lawyer of various religious cases in Dalian, Jilin, Hengshui, Suzhou and Beijing, such as the Qingdao Lu Xueqin case. Wang does not shy away from politically sensitive cases. She represented Cao Shunli who was arrested and detained on suspicion of picking quarrels and provoking troubles. She was also the lawyer of Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti who was charged with secession. Like many other human rights lawyers, Wang takes up land rights, forced eviction and petition cases. She worked on Changzhou Yao Baohua case, Beijing Zhang Jinmin case, Suzhou Fan Mugen case and Sanya Fu Rirong case. Wang represented a petitioner Liugang who was illegally detained at a mental hospital. Wang fights for the underprivileged in the society. She was the lawyer of the Jiangxi young girls’ sexual assault case and discrimination case of Liqi who was visually impaired. Wang also participated in the Hailongjiang Jiansanjiang cases.
3. 2008 in Jail
The Tianjin railway incident in December 2008 made a tremendous change on Wang’s career as a lawyer. Wang entered the train station with a ticket but she was barred by the gateman. They got into an argument and she was violently beaten by 3-4 gatemen. Wang made a complaint to the National Railway Administration. The police officer revenged and arrested Wang 7 months later. Wang faced 1 year and 11 months of trial and legal procedures. She was subsequently jailed for 2 and a half year. Her lawyer’s license was also suspended afterwards and she was allowed to practice again in late 2012.
There was a court hearing of Falun Gong case on 15th April 2014 at Dalian Zhongshan Court. Wang was the defense lawyer. However, at the door of the courthouse, Wang was forced to undergo security inspection, when she refused, the judge ordered the bailiff to take a photo of her and the bailiff twisted her shoulder violently. The bailiff also took away her phone.
On 30 December 2014, Wang and other lawyers went to Jiansanjiang Court to submit the court forms to represent the Falun Gong members. Wang along with the other lawyers were violently forced out of court by the bailiffs.
On 9th January 2015, Wang had a court hearing at the Huainan City Bagongshan District Court. She was barred from entering the courthouse by the bailiff and police. On 28th January 2015, Wang went to the Hebei Zaoqiang detention centre to meet her client but was refused by the officers. She was detained and her lawyer’s license was seized.
On 13 April 2015, as the lawyer of Fan Mugen, Wang was barred from entering the courthouse and the trial went on without a lawyer.
On 22 April 2015, Wang Yu and another lawyer, while performing their duties as lawyers in Shenyang City Chenhe District Court, were stopped and dragged out of court.
Wang Yu is attacked by a smearing campaign that started to appear on 11 June 2015 in various official press in China.
Human rights groups have not been able to make contacts with Ms. Wang Yu since 9 July 2015.
By J.X.C., London, United Kingdom
Edited by S.Y. 22/08/2015