The case of Chinese lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, convicted last December of ‘creating disturbances’, will be highlighted next week at the UK’s premier free speech awards.

Pu (pictured), who was detained for 19 months before being given a three-year suspended prison sentence and placed under house arrest, is among those shortlisted for the Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards.

Index on Censorship’s legal adviser, Howard Kennedy partner Mark Stephens, said that by convicting Pu the authorities had prevented him from working: ‘But they also deny the Chinese people the best and most significant human rights lawyer in the country. He is a man on the international stage, respected by human rights lawyers around the world.’