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Chinese lawyer Wang Yu to receive inaugural ABA International Human Rights Award

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Chinese lawyer Wang Yu to receive inaugural ABA International Human Rights Award

By Irma Romero

CHICAGO, July 8, 2016 – The American Bar Association announced today that it has selected Chinese lawyer Wang Yu  (王宇) to receive its first ABA International Human Rights Award, in recognition of her dedication to human rights, justice and the rule of law in China. Wang will be formally honored at the ABA’s Annual Meeting in San Francisco during a 9:30 a.m. ceremony Saturday, Aug. 6, in the Moscone Center West, room 3014. A reception will follow the ceremony in the ABA EXPO hall on the 2nd Level at the Moscone Center.

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Announcement of the award comes exactly one year after Wang was detained and jailed by Chinese authorities in what was the beginning of China’s latest crackdown on hundreds of Chinese lawyers and human rights advocates. Wang, who is still incarcerated for her work in support of human rights and awaiting trial on charges of anti-state activity, will receive the ABA award in absentia.

Wang’s selection as the recipient of the inaugural ABA International Human Rights Award recognizes her substantial contributions in the areas of civil rights and civil liberties in China.

“This very special ABA award highlights the important role that lawyers play in upholding human rights and the rule of law,” ABA President Brown said. “In honoring Wang Yu, we pay tribute to her steadfast commitment to doing this essential work in China. We recognize her important work to protect human rights and to advocate that the Chinese government respect the independence of the judiciary and the legal profession and observe fair trial and due process standards—all principles guaranteed under Chinese and international law and critical to sustaining progress toward rule of law.”

Wang has committed herself to the representation of some of China’s most underserved and marginalized communities in their struggle to access justice, and she has also worked to expand legal pathways to justice for women and girls.

The ABA International Human Rights Award was established to honor and give public recognition to an individual or an entity that has made an exceptional contribution to the advancement of human rights outside of the United States. The recipient is selected jointly by the ABA’s Center for Human Rights, the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, the Section of International Law, Section of Litigation and the Rule of Law Initiative.

With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. To review our privacy statement, click here. Follow the latest ABA news at www.ambar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.