All of the wives and legal representatives of the detained Chinese human rights lawyers who were arrested at a demonstration outside a Tianjin police station have been released, says the China Human Rights Lawyer Concern Group (CHRLCG).

The eight family members and lawyers, along with a photographer, were holding a peaceful demonstration outside the station. They were holding buckets on which were written words of support for their family members and clients who had been detained in the “709 crackdown” on Chinese human rights lawyers last July. The demonstration started after the police refused to let the lawyers see their clients, said Kit Chan of the CHRLCG.

Demonstration staged by detained lawyers' family members and lawyers. Photo: Twitter/CHRLCG.
Demonstration staged by detained lawyers’ family members and lawyers. Photo: Twitter/CHRLCG.

Following the protest, some of the family members were summoned to the police station, while the rest were taken away by the police. After being detained for about 24 hours, Li Heping’s wife, Wang Qiaoling, and the photographer were released today around noon. Li Wenzu, Wang Quanzhang’s wife, was released this morning. After being taken away in the middle of the night by police from their hometowns, the four lawyers and Liu Ermin, Huo Ruomin’s wife, have also been released.

709 tianjin demonstration
The three wives of detained human rights lawyers after their release.

The Guajiasi police station in Tianjin declined to comment when contacted by HKFP.

Last July, China detained and formally arrested many human rights lawyers for “subversion of state power”. A group of over 50 Chinese lawyers condemned the Tianjin police for denying the detained human rights lawyers access to their defence lawyers in a statement released last week.

Catherine is a Canadian journalist and photographer who lived in Beijing for almost two years, working in TV and online media. Aside from Hong Kong and mainland affairs, she is also interested in urban spaces, art and feminism. She holds a BA in Literature and Art History from the University of British Columbia.