Jailed lawyer Yu Wensheng almost out of medicine, held in poor conditions, says wife

2021.05.10
Jailed lawyer Yu Wensheng almost out of medicine held in poor conditions says wife

Jailed mainland Chinese human rights lawyer Yu Wensheng is running out of medicine for a hand injury sustained in prison, his wife said after visiting with their son briefly on Mother’s Day.

Arrested in early 2018, Yu, 54, was sentenced to four years in prison last June for inciting subversion of state power, following a closed-door trial in Jiangsu province more than a year earlier.

Yu was chatty when talking about life with his son during a 30-minute meeting in a Nanjing prison in the province on Sunday, Yu’s wife, Xu Yan, wrote on her Twitter microblog. The lawyer apologized to his son for not being able to spend more time with him, she said.

Among other negligences, drugs needed to treat Yu’s hand injury were running out, and prison officials had not yet replenished them, Xu said.

In addition, some of Xu’s letters had failed to reach Yu, who remained in a prison cell with poor conditions that was too hot in the summer, she said.

Officials also in a last-minute decision on Sunday canceled a special arrangement that allowed inmates to wear their own clothes to meet their families, Xu added.

The rights lawyer’s health condition has drawn concern since January, after Xu revealed that he had lost four teeth and sustained a severe injury to his right hand during detention.

In March, Xu said after a visit that her husband could not use chopsticks or write properly with his right hand, urging the authorities to grant him medical parole.

Yu had represented several individuals who had been arrested and charged under a nationwide crackdown on rights lawyers and activists in 2015. He was arrested in January 2018, soon after he had written an open letter criticizing the Communist Party’s leadership and calling for constitutional reform.

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