Protection of Lawyers | 07.06.2016

The Ludovic Trarieux Human Rights Prize 2016 Awarded to Chinese Lawyer Wang Yu

On June 4, 2016, a jury of 24 European lawyers, representing bars from Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Brussels, Bordeaux, Geneva, Rome, Luxembourg, Paris, and members of the European Bar Human Rights Institute (IDHAE - l’Institut des Droits de l’Homme des Avocats européens) and the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA – International Association of Lawyers), awarded the 21st Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights Prize to Ms. Wang Yu, a Chinese lawyer.

Ms. Wang Yu is ahuman rights lawyer sadly known for being the first victim to be detained in what has been called the “709 Crackdown”, one of the harshest actions against the legal profession in China, beginning on July 9, 2015.

She was taken into custody on July 9, 2015, secretly detained and placed under “residential surveillance in a designated location”. On January 9, 2015 Ms. Wang Yu, was formally charged with subversion against the State. She is currently imprisoned at Tianjin No. 1 Detention Center.

Ms. Wang Yu actively worked as a human rights lawyer, undertaking challenging legal cases involving clients who other lawyers feared to represent. Ms. Wang represented numerous victims of human rights violations, in particular, members of vulnerable groups such as women, children, migrant workers, disabled people, and ethnic and religious minorities.

The Ludovic Trarieux Prize

Created in 1984, the "Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights Prize,” named after a French lawyer and politician, is the oldest reward given to a lawyer.

This award, "given by lawyers to lawyers,” is granted to a lawyer “who throughout his career has illustrated, by his activity or his suffering, the defence of human rights, the promotion of defence rights, the supremacy of law, and the struggle against racism and intolerance in any form.” It is awarded based on suggestions from human rights NGOs, lawyers’ associations and bar associations from all over the world.