EU worried over Chinese charges against rights lawyer

The EU has expressed concern over the charges against outspoken human rights lawyer Pu Pu Zhiqiang, who has been under arrest since June 2014.

EU worried over Chinese charges against rights lawyer

World Bulletin / News Desk

The European Union expressed concern on Wednesday at Chinese charges against an outspoken human rights lawyer whose treatment has provoked a verbal clash between Beijing and Washington.

Pu Zhiqiang, 49, was arrested last June on charges of causing a disturbance and illegally accessing personal information. He denied the accusations.

Earlier this month, a Beijing prosecutor said Pu had been charged with inciting ethnic hatred.

"The charges brought recently ... raise serious questions of consistency with China's constitutional guarantees of freedom of assembly, opinion and expression," an EU spokeswoman said in a statement.

"The Chinese authorities should guarantee Mr Pu Zhiqiang's right to a fair trial and fully respect his defence rights, in line with China's international human rights commitments and the reforms it has announced to promote and deepen the rule of law," the statement said.

The EU said foreign embassies should be permitted to observe Pu's trial and urged he be given adequate medical treatment.

After Washington repeated a call earlier this month to release Pu, China said the United States would do better to look to problems on its own doorstep, apparently referring to recent protests in U.S. cities such as Baltimore, rather than criticising China over human rights.

"I don't know if everyone has the same feeling as I do upon hearing this: that some people in the United Stateshave hearts which are too big and hands which are too long; they always want to be the world's policeman or judge," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Mayıs 2015, 22:04