The prominent Chinese civil rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, was sentenced to four and a half years in prison. The second intermediate people’s court in Tianjin found him, according to information from the Monday of the undermining of the authority of the state guilty.

The critical lawyer who had campaigned for political freedoms and civil rights, is already sitting for three and a half years in prison. The hearing took place only at the end of December.

Wang Quanzhang worked for the now-closed law firm Fengrui, who had represented, among other things, the famous artist Ai Weiwei. Firm founder Zhou Shifeng was also convicted of “undermining the state power” to seven years in prison. Both lawyers had been taken in the summer of 2015 in the Wake of a wave of persecution against some 300 lawyers, law firm staff, activists, and relatives.

for Three years, there was not even a sign of life of Wang Quanzhang, to him in July, a lawyer in custody in the was an hour’s drive from Beijing, away to Tianjin for a visit. The judgment met with international disapproval. “It is outrageous that Wang Quanzhang is punished because he has campaigned peacefully for human rights in China,” said Doriane Lau of Amnesty International.

The verdict was a “gross injustice”. The lawyer should immediately and unconditionally be released. “In the three years up to the time of his mock trial, the authorities Wang Quanzhang have disappear into a black hole, where he is believed to have been tortured,” said the Amnesty worker.

“Wang Quanzhang has committed no crime, and he should not even have to be imprisoned,” said Maya Wang, a researcher from Human Rights Watch in Hong Kong. He had for many years represented tirelessly by those members of the society, the least protection, would have enjoyed and exploited. “And for this he was condemned now,” said the activist.

Also, the Federal government had repeatedly called for the attorney. Had the process in December, the German people said legal representative Bärbel Kofler: “I am very concerned that Wang Quanzhang received during his detention, no access to his chosen lawyers, and the process has taken place, to the exclusion of the Public.”

Since the appointment of China state and party chief Xi Jinping six years ago, observers complain about a further deterioration in the human rights situation. In addition to dissidents and civil rights lawyers also minorities, such as Tibetans and Uighurs are persecuted increasingly, people like to criticize rights groups.

dpa