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Statement by the Embassy of Canada on the trials and convictions of Chinese lawyers and human rights defenders

Canada continues to have concerns about China’s commitment to the rule of law following the trials and convictions last week of four lawyers and rights defenders, Zhai Yanmin, Hu Shigen, Zhou Shifeng, and Gou Hongguo. These trials did not adhere to China’s own Criminal Procedure Law. These individuals were not granted access to a lawyer of their own choice, nor were their families permitted to attend the trials.

Canada urges China to respect the Chinese Constitution and China’s international human rights obligations. Canada calls on China to immediately release those who have just been sentenced and all remaining lawyers and activists unjustly detained for seeking to protect those rights.

Canada recognizes the key role played by human rights defenders in protecting and promoting human rights and strengthening rule of law. We strongly believe that freedom of opinion and expression remains a cornerstone of safe and prosperous societies and essential to the realization of individuals’ human rights.


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