China Wang Quangzhang nominated for Tulip Award
30 Aug 2017
Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quangzhang has been nominated for the 2017 Human Rights Tulip Prize, awarded by the Dutch government. Wang has been in detention since August 2015.
Prior to his detention, Wang Quangzhang advocated for human rights, including the right to freedom of religion or belief, defending Christians, Falun Gong practitioners and other victims of human rights abuses. He also developed training sessions and materials for the rights defence community and provided legal aid. In common with other lawyers and human rights defenders in China, Wang was subject to harassment, threats and personal attacks by the authorities in response to his work.
In August 2015, Wang was detained by police in a sweeping crackdown on the legal rights defence community, later dubbed the 709 crackdown. Over 300 lawyers, activists, colleagues and family members were interrogated, detained or imprisoned in the crackdown. Many of those since released have reported being tortured in detention, and it is feared that Wang may have suffered the same fate.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s (CSW's) Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said: “CSW warmly welcomes the nomination of Chinese lawyer Wang Quangzhang for this important award and is supporting the #Tulip4Wang campaign. Lawyer Wang is an inspiring and courageous defender of human rights, including the right to freedom of religion or belief. Like so many lawyers and activists in China, Wang has suffered intimidation, harassment and now incommunicado detention as a result of his work. For over two years, no one has heard, seen or spoken with Wang: this is a gross violation of his rights under international law, and severely undermines the government’s stated commitment to rule of law. We urge the public to vote for Wang and show the Chinese authorities, the legal community, and Wang’s family, that the world has not forgotten him.”
The Human Rights Tulip is an annual prize awarded by the Dutch government to “courageous individuals or organisations around the world that seek to promote human rights in an innovative way”. Voting is open to the public from 28 August to 6 September 2017. Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders has called on everyone to vote, “in order to show that human rights defenders matter”.
Previous winners of the prize include as a housing rights activist, defending Beijing residents whose homes were demolished to make way for the 2008 Olympics, and which resulted in her being imprisoned on several occasions.
Notes to Editors:
1. Click here to support Wang Quangzhang’s nomination for the Tulip Prize #Tulip4Wang