709 crackdown

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The 709 crackdown (Chinese: 中国709维权律师大抓捕事件; pinyin: Zhōngguó 709 wéiquán lǜshī dàzhuābǔ shìjiàn or 709案 "709 case" for short) was a nationwide crackdown on Chinese lawyers and human rights activists instigated by paramount leader and Chinese Communist Party general secretary Xi Jinping during the summer of 2015. It is known as the "709 crackdown" as it started in 9 July 2015.[1]

Wang Yaqiu of Human Rights Watch commented that "the 709 crackdown dealt a terrible blow to China’s rights-defense movement, which significantly contracted as rights lawyers were jailed, disbarred or placed under surveillance".[2]

List of people targetted by the 709 crackdown[edit]

More than 200 people were detained as part of the 2015 crackdown.[3] Some of the notable people affected by the crackdown are listed below.

  • Li Heping, lawyer given a suspended sentence in April 2017, and released in May 2017
  • Wang Quanzhang, lawyer put on trial in December 2018, and sentenced to 4½ years for subversion in January 2019[4]
  • Wang Yu, lawyer charged with inciting subversion of state power, but released on bail in 2016
  • Wu Gan, human rights activist known as the "Super Vulgar Butcher", who was sentenced to eight years in December 2017
  • Xiang Li, activist forbidden from leaving China during the crackdown, but who was smuggled out of China to Thailand in January 2018

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sudworth, John (22 May 2017). "Wang Quanzhang: The lawyer who simply vanished". BBC News. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  2. ^ Green, David (26 December 2018). "Chinese rights lawyer fires his own state-appointed lawyer in a dramatic court appearance". Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ "China's 'Super Vulgar Butcher' activist Wu Gan gets eight years". BBC News. 26 December 2017. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  4. ^ Chin, Josh (28 January 2019). "China Civil-Rights Lawyer Sentenced to 4½ Years in Prison for Subversion". Wall Street Journal.