China: trial of detained bloggers postponed again (Update)Event
- Initial Date
- Apr 23, 2021
- Event Description
During the weekend of 23 April 2021, a judge informed the family of human rights defenders Cai Wei and Chen Mei that their trial, originally scheduled to start on 26 April 2021, had been postponed a second time until after the Labour Day holiday in May. The court did not provide a new date.
On 21 January 2021, lawyers assigned by the authorities to represent human rights defenders Cai Wei and Chen Mei informed their families that the Beijing Chaoyang District Court has postponed the deadline for holding a trial to 29 April 2021, citing the pandemic as a reason. The previous deadline for holding the trial of the two human rights defenders was 29 January 2021.
The families of the human rights defenders have questioned the validity of the pandemic as a reason for postponement. According to the official website of the Beijing judiciary, at least eight public trials are scheduled to take place at the Chaoyang District Court between 25 January and 2 February 2021, and many more public trials in other courts in Beijing between 22 January and 22 February 2021.
On 22 September 2020, a lawyer assigned by the Chinese Government to represent human rights defender Chen Mei informed Chen's mother that he and fellow human rights defender Cai Wei have been indicted and their case has been sent for trial to the Chaoyang District Court in Beijing.
Since their detention in April 2020, Chen Mei and Cai Wei have not been allowed access to the legal counsel chosen by their families. Instead, the Government claimed that both defenders have "voluntarily" sought and received legal representation through the State legal aid programme.
Chen Mei's family have submitted a complaint to the Chaoyang District Judicial Bureau against the law firm to which Chen Mei's two Government-assigned lawyers belong, contending that they have violated laws and regulations governing the conduct of lawyers by representing clients who do not need legal aid and whose families have expressly rejected their representation.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- Denial Fair Trial
- Judicial Harassment
- Rights Concerned
- Right to fair trial
- Right to liberty and security
- Blogger/ Social Media Activist
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 23 April 2021, Cai Wei and Chen Mei, bloggers in pre-trial detention, had their court hearing postponed again with no indication of the date by a judge in Beijing, China.