Activist held in custody for months, has yet to meet with lawyer

Friday, May 8, 2020

(Jinan, Shandong—May 8, 2020) Dai Zhenya has been detained by the Shandong Police for more than four months in connection with a gathering in Xiamen. His lawyer has been denied the right to meet with him. In addition, Dai’s family members were questioned by the State Security Bureau and asked not to voice their opinions online.

Dai 's wife said the head of the State Security team of Huli branch asked her to go to the police station for an interview on Thursday, April 23. There were two State Security officers and a police officer at the scene. The conversation lasted for about an hour and the whole process was videotaped. The State Security officers mainly told her not to put her opinions on Twitter. They didn't disclose any information about Dai Zhenya.

Though Dai has been arrested for more than 120 days and the representing lawyer had applied to the authorities for a meeting with the client multiple times, they were not allowed to meet on the grounds that the case involved secrets endangering national security. His family was also worried that he undergone torture and that his personal safety was not guaranteed.

Dai's wife said, "It's really inhumane to deprive their lawyers of the right to meet. I just don't know the real situation of him at present, and I don't know what law he has violated and why he was arrested."

Dai Zhenya’s representing lawyer had recently called the Yantai Public Security Bureau to inquire whether they could arrange the meeting and asked about the progress of the case. They replied that the case was still under investigation and the lawyer was not allowed to meet with him.

The lawyer said, "[The Yantai police] do not allow us to meet. They can find a reason, but they didn’t tell me why they detained the man. Nor did they tell me what criminal facts they have about the man. They should tell the lawyer. Because they didn't tell the lawyer, the lawyer couldn't exercise the lawyer's right of defense, and couldn't make a basic judgment on whether their action constituted a crime when they made the arrest. "

The Mainland Minsheng Guancha, a civil rights watchdog in China, pointed out that on December 26, 2019, Dai Zhenya, Li Yingjun, and Zhang Zhongshun, and Ding Jiaxi, a Beijing lawyer for rights protection, were successively arrested by the Shandong Police across provinces. The lawyer suspects it may have something to do with a citizens' gathering in Xiamen in early December. Afterwards, all except Li were put under surveillance in Shandong, suspected of incitement or subversion.

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