Zhao Wei, an assistant to lawyer Li Heping, was arrested in early January for “subversion of state power”. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Husband of Chinese legal assistant detained for a year ‘worried for her safety’

The 25-year-old is among seven from Beijing law firm taken away for investigation in July last year

The husband of a 25-year-old assistant to a Chinese rights lawyer has expressed worries about her well-being almost a year after she was detained in Tianjin.

Zhao Wei, an assistant to lawyer Li Heping, was arrested for “subversion of state power” in early January after being detained since July 10 last year.

“We haven’t seen her since she was taken away for almost a year. Neither have the lawyers who are representing her,” You Minglei, her husband, told the South China Morning Post.

He was worried for her safety, he said, as rampant incidents of harassment in police custody are widely circulated on social media.

“We’re likely to visit her after June 4 [the anniversary of Tiananmen Square massacre],” You said.

In early July last year, police launched a series of operations in at least 23 provinces, regions or municipalities, which led to detention of more than 100 lawyers, rights activists, petitioners and their relatives.

Zhao was among seven lawyers or legal assistants of Fengrui Law Firm in Beijing, who were put under investigation, after police searched the firm in Beijing on July 10.

The move was condemned by human rights groups.