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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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2 Chinese Lawyers Are Facing Revoke of Licenses for Defending Falun Gong

Posted by Author on April 22, 2010

By EDWARD WONG, New York Times, April 21, 2010 –

BEIJING — Two Chinese lawyers who represented a follower of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement could have their licenses permanently revoked in an administrative hearing on Thursday. The action against the lawyers is the latest move in an increasingly harsh government crackdown on lawyers who take on human rights cases.

The lawyers, Tang Jitian and Liu Wei, said in a written statement that they were accused by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice of having “disrupted the order of the court and interfered with the regular litigation process.” The charge against the lawyers is based on accusations from the Luzhou Municipal Intermediate People’s Court of Sichuan Province, where the lawyers defended Yang Ming, the Falun Gong practitioner, nearly a year ago.

Lawyers in China are usually barred from practicing for life only if they are convicted of a crime. If Mr. Tang and Ms. Liu have their licenses permanently revoked, then this would be a rare occasion, perhaps the first of its kind, when a disruption-of-court charge has led to such harsh punishment, said Eva Pils, a law professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

The two lawyers said in their written statement that the justice bureau’s charge “is obviously factually unsound and lacks legal basis.” The lawyers said it was in fact the judge in the court in Sichuan who was a disruptive element during the trial on April 27, 2009. The judge, Li Xudong, interrupted statements made by the defense lawyers or by Mr. Yang, the lawyers said, “so that the defense was extremely difficult to carry out.” The judge also allowed people to film the lawyers in the courtroom, even though this is usually prohibited.

“As an organ with public power, the Luzhou Municipal Intermediate People’s Court should examine its own unlawful acts,” the lawyers said.

The Chinese government has been relentless about quashing any defense of Falun Gong, which is considered one of the most sensitive topics in China, along with independence for Tibet and Taiwan and the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989. The movement was banned as an “evil cult” in 1999 after followers staged a silent protest at the Chinese leadership’s compound in Beijing. Since then, practitioners have been subjected to imprisonment and torture.

The government has been clamping down on rights lawyers over the last year. In July 2009, the Beijing authorities, citing tax issues, shut down the office of Gongmeng, also known as the Open Constitution Initiative, a legal research organization. …… (more details from New York Times)

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