Xu Yan, November 29, 2019 To the respected international lawyers participating in the Global Lawyers Forum: Greetings! My name is Xu Yan (许艳), and I am the wife of Yu Wensheng (余文生), a Chinese human rights lawyer. When I learned that China will be hosting the Global Lawyers Forum in Guangzhou, on December 9-10, as a Chinese citizen –– especially as the wife of a Chinese lawyer –– I was extremely honored to see such an international gathering being held in my country. After my husband Yu Wensheng lost his freedom, I’ve made approximately 50 trips in person to various government departments and sent about 200 submissions to supervisory departments at all levels, but I basically got no response. As powerful as China is, it […]
March 2, 2018 Minister Zhang Jun: We are among the lawyers who have been disbarred or prevented from practicing as a result of coordinated suppression by the Ministry of Justice in the year 2017. We are well aware that open letters are regularly received by ministries, commissions, and high officials in the Party, state, and military — some angry, some polite, some beseeching… letters of every kind imaginable. There are simply too many people who, unable to find redress anywhere else, will put their hopes in making direct appeal to officials. Whereas local officials may occasionally respond to letters, writing to high-ranking officials in Party Central is like tossing a rock into the ocean. There are also many, in particular human rights lawyers, […]
February 19, 2018 On July 9, 2015, in the mass arrest of Chinese human rights lawyers and defenders known as the “709 Crackdown,” the security authorities used “residential surveillance at a designated place” (指定居所监视居住), a disguised form of secret detention, to detain lawyers. They denied family the ability to hire their own counsel, conducted secret trials, and violated the principle of “innocent until proven guilty” by forcing prisoners to plead guilt in video recordings for state media before trial. This campaign-style (运动式) suppression has engendered panic and backlash domestically, and led to widespread censure from the international community. The lessons of the 709 mass arrests are deep. The rising prominence of human rights lawyers was, in the first place, a wonderful opportunity for the […]
China Change, January 24, 2018 On Monday evening the Guangzhou-based lawyer Sui Muqing (隋牧青) was notified by his law firm that government officials from the provincial Justice Department would inspect the firm the following morning and that Sui, in particular, must be present. He felt a nervous chill and began to suspect that his communications on a series of human rights cases he has represented had upset high-level officials. On Tuesday morning (January 23), two officials from the Justice Department arrived, announcing on the spot that Sui’s law license had been revoked. The written announcement cited two incidents as cause of the punishment: that he disrupted court order while defending New Citizen Movement activists on April 8, 2014, by quitting the court […]
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