Lawyer denied bail after detention ahead of Tiananmen anniversary

Police would 'likely' press charges against Pu Zhiqiang amid crackdown on dissidents

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 June, 2014, 12:46pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 June, 2014, 12:38pm


A prominent lawyer detained in Beijing last month ahead of the 25th Tiananmen crackdown anniversary has been denied bail by the Chinese police.

Well-known attorney Pu Zhiqiang was detained early last month after he attended a small meeting in a Beijing residence to discuss the June 4, 1989 military suppression on demonstrators.

Pu’s lawyer Zhang Sizhi said today that police would likely press criminal charges against his client. He declined to elaborate.

“I don’t think he will be released any time soon,” Zhang said. “A criminal charge is very likely, given the circumstances and the reasons of the detention.”

Pu was among dozens of activists detained or placed under house arrest across the country as part of the authorities’ expansive efforts to deter any commemoration of the anniversary.

Several other people who attended the meeting in Beijing with Pu to discuss the Tiananmen crackdown had also been detained but they were released last week after the June 4 anniversary passed, activists said.

Pu is one of the best-known lawyers in the country who has represented dissidents such as artist Ai Weiwei and led public campaigns for the abolition of labour camps.

Discussions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and its military suppression are taboo in China, and authorities tighten security ahead of the anniversary each year.

But this year’s suppression was harsher than in previous years, as police rounded up activists who had received only warnings in the past.