Lawyers stand silent for "709" crackdown vigil - RTHK
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Lawyers stand silent for "709" crackdown vigil

2019-07-09 HKT 21:16
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  • Lawyers stand silent for "709" crackdown vigil
Hong Kong lawyers took part in a silent protest on Tuesday evening against the detention of more than 200 human rights lawyers on the mainland four years ago today.

The so-called 709 crackdown began on July 9, 2015, and saw officials round up some of the country's most high-profile human rights defenders, including Wang Quanzhang, who was jailed for four and a half years for "suberting state power" last year.

The Hong Kong lawyers, clad in black, stood in silence for seven minutes and nine seconds outside the Court of Final Appeal. They also read letters from the wives of some of the detained lawyers.

Alan Leong, a senior counsel and former Civic Party lawmaker, was among those taking part.

"Lawyers are the conscience of the legal system," Leong said. "I have not seen evidence that the situation has become better in the mainland, and that is really an added reason why brotherhood should be shown for those in the mainland who have been persecuted and who are in custody.

"I would expect this kind of commemorative event to continue until all of the 709 lawyers will have been released."