On May 19, 2015, Wu Gan (吴淦) was taken into administrative detention. See: Wu Gan Jailed for Insulting Judge, Baidu and Sina Weibo Censor Search Results for "Wu Gan".
On May 27, 2015 Wu was taken into criminal detention. The next day China's state sponsored media launched a coordinated campaign attacking Wu Gan. See: After Arrest of "Rights Defense" Activist Wu Gan, State Media Launches Smear Campaign.
On July 9, 2015, a Twitter user posted the following:
Someone is prying open the door at lawyer Wang Yu's home, and the power has been cut. Her husband and son are not home. Wang Yu has been accepting sensitive cases for several years. She was the attorney in the Jiansanjiang Case, the Fan Mugen Case, and the recent Butcher Case, and the authorities have had their eye on her! The government media outlets will be soon be mobilized to smear her name! I hope people are paying attention!
On July 10, 2015 members of China's legal community were sharing information on social media that other lawyers at the Fengrui Law Firm had been detained, including Zhou Shifeng (周世鋒), Li Heping (李和平), and Liu Sixin (刘四新).
On July 11, 2015, the PRC Ministry of Public Security posted the following statement on its verified official Sina Weibo microblog:
Over the past few days, the Ministry of Public Security has directed law enforcement agencies in Beijing elsewhere in a coordinated action to smash major criminal gang that used the Beijing Fengrui Law Firm as a platform to organize, plot, and hype-up over 40 sensitive incidents and severely disturb social order. A criminal enterprise has been brought to light comprising a large, well-organized, and tightly coordinated group of "rights defense" lawyers, provocateurs, and petitioners.
近日，公安部部署指挥北京等地公安机关集中行动，摧毁以北京锋锐律师事务所为平台，先后组织策划炒作40余起敏感案事件、严重扰乱社会秩序的重大犯罪团伙。一个由"维权"律师、推手、"访民"相互勾连，组织严密、人数众多、分工精细的犯罪团伙浮出水面https://weibo.com/2328516855/CqFqi8xtC. See also: Chinese Police "Smash" "Criminal Gang" of "Rights Defense" Lawyers For "Hyping"
In addition to those mentioned above, the following is a partial list individuals who were detained in connection with the Ministry of Public Security's "action":
- Bao Longjun (包龙军) - Wang Yu's husband.
- Wang Quanzhang (王全璋) - a lawyer at the Fengrui Law Firm.
- Zhai Yanmin (翟岩民) an employee at the Fengrui Law Firm and a member of the Yahebo Covenant Church (雅和博圣约教会).
- Xie Yang (谢阳) a lawyer at the Hunan Gangwei Law Firm (湖南纲维律师事务所律师).
- Hu Shigen (胡石根) an elder in the Yahebo Covenant Church (雅和博圣约教会).
- Gou Hongguo (勾洪国) a member of the Yahebo Covenant Church (雅和博圣约教会).
Later on, others associated with those individuals and their causes would also be imprisoned. For example:
- Yu Wensheng (余文生) a lawyer who acted as Wang Quanzhang's defense attorney.
- Zhu Chengzhi (朱承志) an activist who participated in some of the rights defense actions that were used as evidence against the trials of Wu Gan and others.
Censorship and Propaganda
In addition to the publicity against Wu Gan noted above, the China's Internet companies and state sponsored media censored information and promoted the government's narrative of the arrests. For example: