Lawyer Wang Quangzhang was detained by Chinese police on 3 August 2015. Since then, neither his wife, Li Wenzu, nor the lawyers she appointed to represent him have seen him. Wang is a well-known human rights lawyer in China. He has represented Falungong practitioners, those facing eviction, members of the New Citizens' Movement and journalists.

Wang's wife was informed that he was being held on suspicion of endangering state security. For this reason, the police detained him under 'residential surveillance in a designated location' for six months, a de facto form of incommunicado detention (see our submission to the Committee Against Torture). During this period he was denied access to any lawyer. He was then transferred to a pre-trial detention centre in early January 2016 when his lawyers should have been able to see him. None of the lawyers appointed by his wife have been given access.

Every Friday Li Wenzu has gone to the offices of the Supreme People's Court to request information about her husband's case. Every week it is the same: no reply. Most times she can't even get past the security guards.

Wang Quanzhang's case is troubling on many different levels. Why is a human rights lawyer suspected of endangering national security? Why has he been held incommunicado for so long? Why have his lawyers been prevented from meeting him? Why do the authorities refuse to provide his wife with any information?

Wang's case seems emblematic of an increasingly entrenched dual judicial system in China. Anyone accused of the so-called 'three types of crime' (terrorism, major bribery and endangering national security) can be denied the minimal legal protections available in more ordinary cases.

The international community must not forget Wang Quanzhang. His disappearance places him at serious risk of torture. Raising his case helps to challenge the growing sense of impunity with which China treats some of its citizens.